Practise safe heating this fall, winter

It’s that time of year again . . . time to start practising safe heating!
Give heating equipment such as furnaces, radiant heaters, space heaters, and hot water tanks space. Remove trash and materials stored near heating equipment, and keep combustibles at least three feet away from heating equipment at all times.
If you have a fireplace, use a fireplace screen to prevent sparks or burning wood from escaping.
Have chimneys, woodstoves, and central heating systems inspected at least once a year, and have them cleaned if necessary.
Tap water scald burns, which most often occur in the bathroom, are associated with more deaths and injuries than those caused by any other hot liquid.
If the water temperature of your hot water tanks is 130°F (54°C) or more, turn the temperature down to 120°F (49°) to prevent scald burns.
< *c>Smoke detectors
•Install and maintain smoke detectors on every level of your home/cabin, preferably outside the sleeping areas and inside the bedrooms;
•If you have an attached garage, install one in there also;
•Test weekly by pushing the alarm test button;
•Test monthly with actual smoke from a smouldering piece of cotton string;
•Vacuum every six months (disconnect power first, if electrically powered);
•Replace batteries when you change your clocks in the spring and fall; and
•Replace smoke detectors if they are 10 years old!
< *c>Carbon monoxide detectors
•If you heat with any type of fossil fuel such as natural gas, propane, wood, and oil, install and maintain carbon monoxide detectors on every level of your home/cabin, preferably outside the sleeping areas and in the vicinity of heating equipment;
•Test weekly by pushing the alarm test button;
•Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on care and maintenance;
•Before buying a carbon monoxide detector, know what you are getting (many types that are on the market today will alarm at different ppm of carbon monoxide!)
Remember: If you never need what you learn about personal safety, you have lost nothing. If you never learn what you need, you may lose everything–your family and your life!
Tyler Moffitt is a fire and life safety educator, part-time firefighter, and first aid instructor.

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