The Oneida Daily Dispatch (Oneida, NY)

FASNY offers tips to heat your home this winter

- Staff report

The Firefighte­rs Associatio­n of the State of New York (FASNY) reminds New Yorkers to follow some essential safety tips when heating their homes this winter.

Fire department­s usually see an uptick in home fires during the winter, with nearly half of all home heating equipment fires occurring during Dec., Jan., and Feb. carbon monoxide (CO) exposure and poisonings also increase during these months.

“There is an increased risk of home fires and carbon monoxide poisoning this time of year as residents use space heaters, portable heating sources, gas furnaces, and fireplaces to heat their homes,” said FASNY President Edward Tase, Jr. “We encourage New Yorkers to take proper precaution­s when they heat their homes this season.”

According to the National Fire Prevention Associatio­n, heating equipment is the second leading cause of US home fires and the third leading cause of home fire deaths. Space heaters are the type of equipment most often involved in home heating equipment fires, accounting for more than two of every five fires (44%), as well as the vast majority of deaths and injuries in home fires caused by heating equipment.

Homeowners should keep space heaters a safe distance from combustibl­e materials, such as curtains, bedding, and upholstere­d furniture. To prevent CO exposure and poisoning, avoid the indoor use of unvented gas-burning appliances, unvented gas or woodburnin­g stoves, and unvented fireplaces.

“Homeowners should check that all heating equipment is functionin­g properly and that furnace and dryer vents are clear of ice and other debris,” said President Tase. “As we turn up the heat, it is crucial to ensure that there are working smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors on each floor of the home and outside of sleeping areas. These devices can be the difference between life and death. We want all New Yorkers to be fire-safe this winter and remember— if there is a fire: get

out, stay out, and call 911.”

Gov. Kathy Hochul recently signed legislatio­n to help curb the preventabl­e deaths caused by space heater fires. The legislatio­n requires that space heaters sold in New York State have a thermostat, automatic shut off, and be certified by a testing and certificat­ion body recognized and approved by the United States Department of Labor, Occupation­al Safety and Health Administra­tion.

Here are some home heating tips from FASNY and the NFPA:

• Keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from heating equipment.

• Have a three-foot “kid-free zone” around open fires and space heaters.

• Never use your oven to heat your home.

• 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.

• Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.

• Always use the right kind of fuel specified by the manufactur­er, for fuel-burning space heaters.

• All fuel-burning equipment should be vented to the outside to avoid carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning.

• Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room. Ashes should be cool before putting them in a metal container. Keep the container a safe distance away from your home.

• Test smoke alarms at least once a month.

 ?? IMAGE PROVIDED ?? The former Firemen’s Associatio­n of the State of New York (FASNY) is now named The Firefighte­rs Associatio­n of the State of New York.
IMAGE PROVIDED The former Firemen’s Associatio­n of the State of New York (FASNY) is now named The Firefighte­rs Associatio­n of the State of New York.

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