Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Houston Fire Department Offers Home Heating Safety Tips

Houston Fire Department LogoWith the holiday season and colder weather fast approaching, the Houston Fire Department (HFD) recommends the following safety tips when using supplemental heating sources:
Space Heaters Need Space
  • Keep all combustible materials at least three feet from the heater
  • Never leave children unattended in a room with a space heater
  • Open-face heaters should have a screen
  • Provide ventilation to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning
Vented Gas / Fired Heating Appliances Tips - Central heating units, floor furnaces, recessed wall heaters and vented space heaters
  • Do not use these units without a proper vent pipe that exhausts to the outside
  • If your flame is not blue, it is not burning properly and is producing carbon monoxide, which can kill you. Turn off the appliance
  • Inspect the appliance(s) annually by a qualified service technician. Don't wait for cold weather!
  • Look for the American Gas Association label and follow the manufacturer's recommendations for proper usage.
  • Use flexible metal tubing (never rubber) with threaded ends to connect the heater to the gas valve. There should be a cutoff valve for the heater at the wall
  • Use soapy water to check all connections and valves for leaks. NEVER use a match to test for a gas leak!
Electric Heaters Tips
  • Never overload outlets or breakers
  • Never use extension cords for the heater. If the cord is hot to the touch, turn off the heater and unplug it!
  • Permanently installed electric heaters should have lint and dust removed regularly. Lint and dust will burn!
Fireplace safety from the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA) 
According to the NFPA, while fireplaces often conjure up images of warmth and comfort, they also are a source of house fires.

  • Ashes should be cool before putting them in a metal container, and kept at a safe distance from your home
  • Have your fireplace and chimney inspected and cleaned annually by a professional chimney sweep
  • Keep combustibles at least three feet away from a fireplace, and create a three-foot "kid-free zone" around open fires
  • Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room
  • Never leave a fireplace fire unattended, particularly when children are present
Smoke Detectors Save Lives - It's Just That Simple
If you need a smoke detector, call 832.394.6633 to schedule a smoke detector installation or appointment. If you or someone you know is deaf or hard-of-hearing and needs a smoke detector, contact Kenyatta Parker at or 832.394.6648.

For more information on smoke detectors, visit To learn more about HFD,

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