For many people, the winter months mean having the heater up full blast and just enjoying the comfort of being warm in your home, away from the damage and the madness outside. However, with the winter sweeping across vast parts of the US it’s time for the National Fire Protection Association to remind us about our duties to ourselves, and our families.
We should always do what we can to stay safe and warm – but now when it puts ourselves, our families, at risk. Heating equipment when overused and abused can become problematic even in states like Florida, which can lead to serious health risks or disasters within the household. Everything from portable space heaters to wood stoves and fireplaces can become the source of serious household damage when left unattended.
From December-February, more than half of the home heating equipment fires occur. Whether it is due to over usage or by having something near the heater that should never have been there – a rugs, clothing, blankets etc. – this is a common problem that many people can suffer from quite severely.
However, another major issue of this time of year comes from the danger we can provide to ourselves through carbon monoxide poisoning. Equipment which is burning fuel – vehicles and generators included – can produce severe levels of Carbon Monoxide (CO) and therefore should always be vented out of your home to avoid a build-up. This is very important to deal with as a failure to do so puts you and the rest of the household at serious risk. Thankfully we can take cars in for tune-ups and there are certified technicians that can routinely check your generators to make sure they are in top shape for the season.
On average, nine calls per hour were made in 2010 to do with carbon monoxide poisoning during the winter months. This is a massive increase in less than a decade, as 2003 numbers were close to half of these reported incidents. To be aware of what is going on in your home, you should make the time to go and purchase a CO detector. This keeps you safe from the potential damage of CO poisoning.
Get a CO alarm, too. These can be very useful for making sure you avoid these problems. Also, be sure to check for the smell of burning gas or anything similar in your house – leave your home immediately if you ever smell gas. Fire brigade department experts can locate the problem in a safe and professional manner, avoiding anyone from being hurt in any capacity.
We don’t always think of these types of threats in Florida, but its those systems that don’t get used regularly which can create the biggest problem. Make sure your home is safely protected no matter what month it is.