January 7, 2013
Winter Heating Safety Tips
Batavia, Ohio. The high cost of home heating fuels and utilities has caused many Americans to search for alternate sources of home heating. The use of wood burning stoves is growing and space heaters are selling rapidly. Unfortunately, these alternative heating mechanisms are a major contributing factor in residential fires. You can prevent the loss of life and property resulting from heating fires identifing potential hazards and following the critical safety manual instructions.
Wood stoves cause thousands of residential fires every year. Carefully follow the manufacturer's installation and maintenance instructions. Look for solid construction, such as plate steel or cast iron metal. Check for cracks and inspect legs, hinges and door seals for smooth joints and seams. Use only seasoned wood for fuel, not green wood, artificial logs, or trash. In pellet stoves, burn only dry, seasoned wood pellets. Inspect and clean your pipes and chimneys annually and check monthly for damage or obstructions.
Use only electric space heaters that are evaluated by a nationally recognized laboratory, such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL). Confirm it has a thermostat control mechanism that will switch off automatically if the heater falls over. Space heaters are not created to be dryers or tables; don't dry clothes or store objects on top of your heater. Plug space heaters directly into wall outlets and never use an extension cord or power strip. Always unplug your electric space heater when not in use.
Use only kerosene heaters evaluated by a nationally recognized laboratory, such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL), and check with your local fire department on the legality of kerosene heater use in your community. Never fill your heater with gasoline or camp stove fuel; both flare-up easily. Only use crystal clear K-1 kerosene. When refueling, allow the appliance to cool first and then refuel outside. Never overfill any portable heater. Use the kerosene heater in a well-ventilated room.
Fireplaces regularly build up creosote in their chimneys. They need to be cleaned out frequently and chimneys should be inspected for obstructions and cracks to prevent deadly chimney and roof fires. Check to make sure the damper is open before starting any fire. These materials cause heavy creosote buildup and are difficult to control. Use a screen heavy enough to stop rolling logs and big enough to cover the entire opening of the fireplace to catch flying sparks. Allow ashes to cool before disposing of them. Place ashes in a tightly covered metal container and keep the ash container at least 10 feet away from your home and any other nearby buildings.
Portable listed/labeled heating equipment used in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations does not require permits. However, permits are required for solid fuel stoves and appliances which require new gas lines or electrical wiring. For projects requiring permits please call the Clermont County Permit Central office at 513-732-7213. Our staff is available Monday through Friday from 8:00 to 4:30 p.m. Additional information is also available at our website at www.permit.clermontcountyohio.gov.
Article Provided By: By: Sharman Hensley; Clermont County Permit Central
For additional information about this or other county news, contact Clermont County Communications Director, Annette Meagher at (513) 732-7557 or by e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org