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SJRFD says home heating dangers are prevalent if not done correctly

Heating your home with things like wood stoves require safety measures to ensure your home remains safe this winter season.
Heating your home with things like wood stoves require safety measures to ensure your home remains safe this winter season. - Sam McNeish

Mother nature has turned down the thermostats.

So that means in this climate we have to turn ours up, light that wood or pellet stove, or use or propane fireplaces to ensure warmth and comfort in our homes.

The St. John’s Regional Fire Department (SJRFD) is cautioning residents about making sure you have those items serviced to ensure safe operation this winter season.

“Heating equipment is one of the leading causes of home fires during the winter months,” Capt. Mike Maher, SJRFD fire prevention officer said in a news release Monday. “We need to remind citizens of safety tips to help ensure that these devices are used in a safe and efficient manner,’’ he added.

Included in this safety message is for everyone to install and maintain smoke alarms in their home, including changing batteries in each of those installed in key areas of your home such as bedrooms.

“For the best protection, interconnect the alarms. When one sounds, they all sound,” Maher said.

In addition he suggested everyone should test the smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms on a monthly basis.

To ensure complete safety, additional tips include:

• Have a qualified professional install stoves, chimney connectors, and chimneys.

• Stoves should be listed by a qualified testing laboratory.

• In wood stoves, burn only dry, seasoned wood. In pellet stoves, burn only dry, seasoned wood pellets.

• Have your chimney and stove inspected and cleaned by a certified chimney sweep every fall just before the heating season.

• Clean the inside of your stove periodically using a wire brush.

• Allow ashes to cool before disposing of them. Place ashes in a covered metal container. Keep the container at least 10 feet away from the home and other buildings.

• Keep a close eye on children whenever a wood or pellet stove is being used. Remind them to stay at least 3 feet away from the stove.

• Stoves need space. Keep anything that can burn at least 3 feet away from the stove.

• Install and maintain carbon monoxide alarms (CO) outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home. For the best protection, interconnect the CO alarms. When one sounds, they all sound.

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