Take Heating Safety Measures Seriously | Sunday stories


KINGSPORT – The Kingsport Fire Department is reminding residents to take heating safety precautions with sub-freezing temperatures arriving this weekend.

Here are some tips from the National Fire Protection Association (nfpa.org) to help keep you and your loved ones safe at home:

• Keep anything that can burn at least 3 feet from heating equipment, such as furnaces, fireplaces, wood stoves or space heaters.

• Have a 3-foot “kid-free zone” around open fires and space heaters.

• Never use your oven to heat your home.

• Do not use extension cords or multiple sockets to connect the heaters. Heaters should be plugged directly into the wall outlet.

• Have heating appliances and chimneys cleaned and inspected annually by a qualified professional.

• Remember to turn off space heaters when you leave the bedroom or go to bed.

• Always use the correct type of fuel, specified by the manufacturer, for fuel-burning space heaters.

• Make sure the fireplace has a solid screen to prevent sparks from flying into the room. The ashes must be cold before putting them in a metal container. Keep the container a safe distance from your home.

• Install and maintain carbon monoxide (CO) alarms to avoid the risk of CO poisoning. If you smell gas in your gas heater (mercaptan is the sulfurous “rotten egg” smell added to natural gas), do not turn on the heater. Leave the house immediately and dial 911.

• Test smoke alarms at least once a month.

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Susan W. Lloyd