Thu, Dec 1st 2016 04:55 pm
safe as heating season begins
by the Firemen's Association of the State of New York
Temperatures are dropping across New York, and the
Firemen's Association of the State of New York urges New Yorkers to remain safe
as they begin to heat their homes for the winter.
It is imperative families, homeowners and renters
are aware of how they heat their homes. A space heater or a fireplace could put
homes more at risk, and must be used safely. In addition, New Yorkers are urged
to make sure smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are operating
properly and are equipped with working batteries.
"Firefighters typically respond to more fires as the
weather gets colder, many of which are caused by improper or dangerous methods
of heating and keeping warm," FASNY President Ken Pienkowski said. "Please be
certain that your home heating systems are safe and in compliance with all
building and safety codes, and do not hesitate to call for help if you suspect
a problem, or simply need a warm place."
Statistics from the NFPA shows there is a historically
elevated risk of dying from fire during the winter season, with December,
January and February generally being the deadliest months for fires.
FASNY offers the following safety tips when using
the following heating methods:
- Never leave a portable space heater in a room
unattended, and always follow manufacturer's instructions for proper use and
- Use space heaters for a limited time each day.
- Never connect a space heater to an outlet with an
- Unplug the unit when not in use. Let it cool down
prior to storing the unit.
- Keep a window ajar or the door open in a room where
an unvented heater is in use.
- Never use heaters to dry clothing or other
- Make sure the flue is open before using a fireplace
for the first time this season.
- Remove any and all obstructions and debris from your
chimney. Obstructions will cause carbon monoxide to back up into your
- Never leave a fireplace unattended.
- Chimneys and vents should be inspected and cleaned
- Take care when stoking a fire. Do not burn
newspapers or trash in a fireplace. Doing so may ignite a chimney fire or
send flaming embers into your home, causing fire.
- If smoke emanating from the furnace turns black and
the furnace starts to rumble, leave the building immediately, and call your
local fire department.
- All heating units should be tuned up by a
professional certified technician. Regular inspections and cleanings of your
heating system help to ensure maximum efficiency during the winter months.
Coal and Wood
- Use coal only if specifically approved by the stove
manufacturer. Gasoline or other flammable liquids should never be used to start
a wood fire.
and Carbon Monoxide Detectors:
- Test your home smoke alarms at least once per month.
Do this by pressing the "test" button on the unit.
- If you do not have one already installed, install a
carbon monoxide detector to detect production of potentially lethal carbon
monoxide by gas fireplaces, gas stoves, barbecues and gas furnaces.
- If you have battery-operated alarms, be certain to
regularly check and replace the batteries. Use Daylight Saving Time as a biannual
reminder to change your smoke detector and CO detector batteries twice a year.
- Consider the purchase and installation of smoke
alarms with sealed in, nonremoveable batteries that last for at least 10 years.
These alarms are much less susceptible to human error.
For additional information on home heating safety,
visit the National Fire Protection Association's website at www.nfpa.org.
Founded in 1872, the Firemen's Association of the
State of New York represents the interests of the approximately 110,000
volunteer firefighters and emergency medical personnel in New York.
For more information, visit www.fasny.com.