Stay Safe This Winter With These Home Heating Tips
MERIDIAN TOWNSHIP - With the winter season in full swing, Meridian Township and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) have come up with a handful of tips for residents to safely heat their homes during the colder months of the year.
According to the NFPA, heating is the second leading cause of U.S. home fires and home fire injuries, and the third leading cause of home fire deaths. To keep houses warm and safe this winter, the NFPA reminds homeowners of the possible dangers of lighting candles and using space heaters in the months of Dec., Jan., and Feb.
Tavis Millerov, the Fire Inspector for the Meridian Township Fire Department, said using candles in your home is fine, as long as they are being properly used and are kept a good distance away from anything flammable, such as curtains.
“One of the things we have to tell people is to never leave a room unattended where the candle is at and that’s true in my own house,” Millerov said.
When it comes to space heaters, the NFPA said they are the type of equipment most often involved in home heating equipment fires, accounting for more than two of every five fires.
Millerov said he believes they are a “necessary evil” and have to be used in some circumstances. To ensure the safest use of space heaters, Millerov advises residents to read the owner’s manual ahead of time.
“You gotta do the one thing that nobody ever does, you have to actually read the owner's manual that comes with it,” Millerov said. “That way you know how close things can be to it and whether or not they can be left on for long periods of time.”
Millerov said it’s important to understand your space heater and know how it works so that it can safely be used to heat rooms in your house.
The Meridian Township website also provided a list of helpful tips for home heating safety.
According to the website, residents should keep house temperatures above 68 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent pipes from bursting, make sure all heating vents are not blocked by furniture, and to prepare the outside of your home by cleaning out gutters, disconnecting and draining hoses and shutting off outside water valves.
Millerov said one of the best ways you can prevent house fires is to make sure your heating systems are properly maintained and if you have a fireplace or chimney, to keep it swept and clean to prevent any chimney fires.
Another tip for home heating safety from Meridian Township is to keep cabinet doors in your kitchen and/or bathrooms open to allow warm air to circulate around your pipes.
In addition to this safety tip, Millerov advises residents to limit the number of times going in and out of the house to try and keep heat from escaping outside.
Millerov also asks Meridian Township residents to help the Fire Department by keeping fire hydrants clear of any snow or ice, so that the department can access them in case of any home fires this winter.