According to the 2010 National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA’s), “Home Fires Involving Heating Equipment” report: “heating equipment was involved in an estimated 57,100 home structure fires that were reported to U.S. fire departments.” These fires caused 490 deaths, 1,530 injuries and $1.1 billion in direct property damage.
In 2010, heating equipment was involved in 15 percent of all reported home fires, 19 percent of home fire deaths (second highest after smoking), 15 percent of home civilian injuries and 11 percent of the direct property damage.”
As the winter freeze continues, it is time to provide some safety reminders regarding home heating equipment to ensure the well-being of our residents. Please follow the NFPA’s safety reminders listed below when utilizing home heating equipment:
• All heaters need space. Keep things that can burn, such as paper, bedding or furniture, at least three feet away from heating equipment.
• Use heating equipment that has the label of a recognized testing laboratory.
• Install stationary space heating equipment, water heaters or central heating equipment according to the local codes and manufacturer’s instruction. Have a qualified professional install the equipment.
• Make sure all fuel-burning equipment is vented to the outside to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. CO is created when fuels burn incompletely. CO poisoning can cause illness and even death. Make sure the venting for exhaust is kept clear and unobstructed. This includes removal of snow around the outlet to the outside.
• Install and maintain carbon monoxide alarms inside your home to provide early warning of carbon monoxide.
• Maintain heating equipment and chimneys by having them cleaned and inspected annually by a qualified professional.
If you experience a fire related emergency with your home heating equipment, please do not hesitate, dial 911 immediately to initiate the response of the Skaneateles Fire Department to your location.