Be sure all decorative lights, indoor and outdoor bear
the label of an independent testing laboratory. Replace any light sets that
have cracked or frayed cords or have loose connections. Do not overload
outlets or run extension cords under carpets, across doorways, on or under
heaters, or behind furniture. Unplug all decorative lights before leaving
home or going to bed.
Keep fire where it belongs - in the fireplace! Make sure
you have a screen large enough to catch flying sparks and rolling logs.
Clean your chimney regularly - creosote build-up can ignite your chimney,
roof and the whole house! Have your chimney inspected annually for damage
and obstructions. Store cooled ashes in a tightly sealed metal container.
Cardboard boxes and paper bags can quickly catch fire. Only burn materials
appropriate for a fireplace, never burn trash or paper, burning paper can
float up a chimney and onto your roof or into your yard.
Furnaces should have regular maintenance to operate
properly. Annual cleaning, inspection are recommended. As mentioned before,
have your chimney inspected and cleaned annually. Don’t use the oven for
Space heaters need their space! Keep combustibles at least
three feet away from each heater. When buying a heater, look for a
thermostat control mechanism and a switch that automatically shuts off the
power if the heater falls over. Heaters are not dryers or tables! Don’t dry
or store objects on top of your heater.
Safety is a top consideration when using space
heaters. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that more
than 25,000 residential fires every year are associated with the use of
space heaters, causing more than 300 deaths. An estimated 6,000 persons
receive hospital emergency room care for burn injuries associated with
contacting hot surfaces of room heaters, mostly in non-fire situations.
When buying and installing a small space heater, follow these guidelines:
Select a heater of the proper size for the room
you wish to heat. Do not purchase oversized heaters. Most heaters come
with a general sizing table.
Locate the heater on a level surface away from
foot traffic. Be especially careful to keep children and pets away from
- Only purchase newer model heaters that have all of
the current safety features. Make sure the heater has the Underwriter's
Laboratory (UL) label attached to it.
- Choose a thermostatically controlled heater, since
they avoid the energy waste of overheating a room.
When buying and installing an electric space heater,
you should follow these general safety guidelines:
For portable electric heaters, buy a unit with a
tip-over safety switch, which automatically shuts off the heater if the
unit is tipped over.
- Electric heaters should be plugged directly into
the wall outlet. If an extension cord is necessary, use a heavy-duty
cord of 14-guage wire or larger.
Always put candles in non-tip candleholders before you
light them, and do not burn candles near decorations or displays. Keep
candles well away from curtains, and never put candles in windows or near
exits. Never leave a room with a candle burning or within reach of small