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Winter Fire Safety Tips

According to the U.S Fire Administration and Fema, fire claims the lives of 3,400 Americans, injures 17,500, and causes billions of dollars worth of damage each year. A large percentage of those fires occur in the winter  and are preventable if you follow these simple fire safety tips.

With the cost of heating homes on the rise many American families rely on portable heaters to help heat their homes. If not used properly these devices can cause a fire in your home.  If you are using a wood stove or space heater make sure that anything flammable is at least 3 feet away from the heater.  Keep a close eye on your children while the heater is running.  Set aside a three foot “kid free” zone around your portable heater.

If you are using a wood stove this winter make sure you follow the manufacturers safety, installation and maintenance instructions. Wood stoves trigger over 4,000 fires in homes every year.  Before turning on your wood stove this winter check for cracks and make sure the door seals tight.  Green wood, artificial logs and trash should not ever be placed in a wood stove. Make sure you only burn seasoned logs and for pellet stoves only seasoned pellets.

When purchasing an electric space heater or affordable electric fires from TJ Hughes make sure it has been inspected and evaluated  by a nationally recognized laboratory, such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL). It is also important to make sure that your heating unit has a thermostat control mechanism, and will switch off automatically if the heater falls over. Never use a space heater as a table or to dry your clothes. Always plug your space heater directly into your wall outlet and not a power strip.

If you wish to keep warm this winter with an electric blanket, make sure that it is in good condition and the power cords are inspected.  If the cords are old, worn or damaged they need to be replaced.  It is also important that your electric blanket is inspected by Underwriters Laboratory to ensure that it is safe to use in your home.  

Remember that most home fires are preventable as long as you take the proper safety precautions.  

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