The best defense when fending off Old Man Winter may be maintenance of your home’s heating system. But, if you decide to give alternative heating a try, make safety a top priority. The Institute for Business &
Home Safety (IBHS) suggests:
◊ Look for products tested by Underwriters Laboratory (UL).
◊ Buy models with automatic shut-off features and heat element guards.
◊ Maintain a 36-inch clearance between the heater and combustible materials, such as bedding, furniture, wall coverings or other flammable items.
◊ Do not leave a heater unattended.
◊ Check every electrical cord for fraying and cracking. If one looks worn, replace it before using.
◊ Install carbon monoxide detectors in several parts of the house.
Other safety suggestions:
◊ Never use a kerosene heater indoors.
◊ Never use electric or gas stoves to heat the home. They are not intended for that purpose and can cause fires and carbon monoxide poisoning.
◊ If using a wood fireplace, have it inspected annually by a professional chimney sweep.
Go to disastersafety.org for more.