As a major winter storm hits California, CAL FIRE is reminding residents to take steps to heat their homes safely.
CAL FIRE Public Information Officer Daniel Berlant says the cooler weather and rain is a welcomed event during a time of severe drought in California but it also means that many will need to turn on home heating sources to keep warm indoors.
Improper use or poorly maintained heating equipment is one of the leading causes of home fires and home fire deaths across the country. Half of home heating equipment fires are reported during the months of December, January and February.
Berlant has some simple and effective ways to prevent heating related accidents. Keep anything that can burn away from heating equipment.
CAL FIRE recommends a three foot space.
Berlant also says every home should have a working carbon monoxide (CO) alarm.
A common mistake made by homeowners is using the oven to heat the home.
Other safety measures include:
Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.
Have a three-foot “kid-free zone” around open fires and space heaters.
Have a qualified professional install stationary space heating equipment, water heaters or central heating equipment according to the local codes and manufacturer’s instructions.
Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional.