Safety tips for heating your home as the weather gets colder - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Winter 2015

Safety tips for heating your home as the weather gets colder

(FOX19 NOW) (FOX19 NOW)
FOX19 -

These 55 degree days we've had lately makes it hard to believe that winter is right around the corner but let's face it, the comfortable fall weather we've been having won't last forever. 

We've got some tips on how to properly heat your home while keeping your family safe this winter season.

FOX19 NOW spoke with Colerain Township Battalion Chief Steve Conn about winter weather heating for your home. Every year around winter time, we do fire safety stories but time and time again, people continue to make mistakes that cause fires. So what can you do to ensure that your winter is fire-free?

"We see several fires a year in this area and they all have a common thread which is people not thinking about fire safety," said Colerain Township Battalion Chief Steve Conn. Conn says half of all home heating fires occur during the months of December, January and February and he says many of these fires can be prevented in a few simple steps. Let's start with how you can make your furnace room safer.

"This is the way a furnace room should look," Conn showed us as we entered the furnace room at Colerain Township Fire Station 26. "The biggest problems that we have in utility rooms are around utility systems in private homes because people use them for storage. A lot of time a lot of the people push their items up against the furnace and right up next to the water heater. You need at least about 3 feet of space around any gas or any appliances."

Conn says you should keep anything that can burn at least 3 feet from any heat source. "In this region we often see candles, wood-burning stove and space heaters that are too close."

Chief Conn also told us that people should only plug one heat-producing appliance into an electrical outlet at a time. "Everyone goes back to that famous scene from Christmas Vacation where Chevy Chase has all of those electrical items plugged in and the extension cords wrapped around things. We don't want to see that, we want to see only one item plugged in especially if it's going to a space heater because of the electrical draw."

Another safety tip Conn wanted to stress was installing and testing carbon monoxide alarms at least once a month. Follow these tips, he says, and you'll be on your way to a safe and fire-free holiday season.

If you want more tips on heating and fire safety, just visit www.nfpa.org/winter or www.usfa.fema.gov/winter

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