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Avoiding Home Heating Fires during the Chilly Winter Months

Winter is one of the most popular times for house fires.  While some home fires result during the holiday season because of faulty decorative lighting setups or the use of candles in holiday wreaths and trees, the majority of home heating fires during the chilly winter months occur as a result of people simply trying to keep warm.

Because the economy is in such a rut and job losses are at an all-time high, people are also trying to save money.  But using an unsafe heating setup in an attempt to save money could easily result in a home heating fire.

Here some tips for avoiding a home heating fire during this chilly winter:

• Never, ever bring in an outdoors cooking grill or a camp stove and attempt to use it inside as a heating device. Using those devices in ways they weren’t intended for is a fast way to jumpstart a home heating fire. Plus, charcoal, used in many grills, emits lethal, odorless carbon monoxide gases (making them that much more dangerous).

• Never leave a fireplace fire or any other source of flames unattended. Don’t even leave a fire unattended for a few minutes to take a quick trip to the mailbox or to work outside. Once a flame catches, it takes only seconds for it to go out of control. Just being vigilant about the simple things like candle or fire place flames can thwart home heating fires.

• Make sure your chimney or furnace is cleaned (and repaired if necessary) by a professional every year. Soot buildup can lead to a home heating fire, so it’s imperative that you remember this very vital to-do!

• Know where your emergency furnace shut off buttons are located, and test them to make sure they work.

• Never, ever use a flammable substance like gas on a fire. Gas causes fire to “jump,” which can not only lead to a home heating fire, but also serious personal injury.

• Never put a child in charge of starting or watching a home fire, such as a fireplace. Children should not be expected to handle this adult chore, and their lack of experience with home heating could easily lead to a home heating fire.

• Use common sense. If a home heating setup seems dangerous, avoid it.
Regardless of how tight times are, it’s not worth it to risk a home heating fire or personal injury.