Stay warm and safe this winter season

Stay warm and safe this winter season

SOUTHWEST LOUISIANA (KPLC) - It's that time of the year where many of us will be digging out space heaters out of storage but before turning it on, here are some tips to help you stay safe.

National Fire Protection Association says "heating equipment is a leading cause of home fire deaths. Half of home heating equipment fires are reported during the months of December, January, and February."

NFPA shares these tips:

  • Keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from heating equipment, like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove, or portable space heater.
  • Have a three-foot “kid-free zone” around open fires and space heaters.
  • Never use your oven to heat your home.
  • Have a qualified professional install stationary space heating equipment, water heaters or central heating equipment according to the local codes and manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional.
  • Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.
  • Always use the right kind of fuel, specified by the manufacturer, for fuel burning space heaters.
  • Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room. Ashes should be cool before putting them in a metal container. Keep the container a safe distance away from your home.
  • Test smoke alarms at least once a month.

It's not just the electronic heating devices, the Lake Charles Fire Department Chief Keith Murray said people should be cautious of Christmas trees and lights.

"You have to keep that water in that Christmas tree at all times," he said. "They are selling Christmas trees now around Halloween and no matter how you take care of that tree, that tree is going to be drying up. Keep anything, an open flame or heat source away from those Christmas trees you will not believe how fast those Christmas trees go up, it's to the point it will go up so fast there's no way you can put it out."

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