November 16, 2016

Home Heating Safety Tips

By Jonathan Damashek

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Fall marks the beginning of one of the most beautiful seasons in New York, but also the beginning of colder and shorter days. Winter is weeks away, but most of the people living in the city have already turned their heaters on to beat the cold temperatures, especially at night.

According to the American Red Cross, heating fires are the second leading cause of fires in the home. This makes the probability of a fire at home much higher during this time of the year. Almost half of American families use alternative heating sources such as space heaters, fireplaces or wood/coal stoves to stay warm. And 74 percent of fire-related deaths involve these types of heating sources. Unfortunately, most citizens do not know that home fires are the single most common disaster across the nation, and the number of home fires the American Red Cross has responded to has risen 10 percent since 2000.

In an effort to help reduce the chances of a home heating fire that can have catastrophic consequences for you and your loved ones, we share several safety tips. Pay attention and help us spread the word.

  • Have a smoke alarm in every area of your home, and make sure it works. This will reduce your chances of dying in a fire by nearly half.
  • Keep potential sources of fuel (paper, clothing, bedding, etc.) at least three feet away from space heaters, stoves, or fireplaces.
  • Have all your heating appliances checked and cleaned by a professional each year.
  • Never leave a portable heater or a fireplace unattended.
  • As a precaution, always buy a space heater with an automatic shut off in case the heater falls over. In addition, you should always place it on hard and nonflammable surfaces.
  • Keep children and pets away of any kind of heater, and never leave them unattended when heaters are working.
  • Have an escape plan. Make a plan with your family in case a fire takes place, this will help you save time and reduce the chances of injuries and deaths.
  • Spread the word. Talk to your family and neighbors about the dangers of home heating, and share these safety tips to help reduce their chances of having a fire at home.

If you or a family member is injured in a fire at home, you might not be responsible for the incident. At Hecht, Kleeger, Damashek we can analyze your case and explain you your legal rights. Contact us today for a free consultation.