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Dec 20

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Home Heating Safety

As we begin to turn the heat up inside our homes we need to remember a few safety tips. We heat our homes in different ways, some of us use gas or propane, others use fireplaces or wood stoves and others use electric. No matter how you heat your home there are a few safety precautions you need to take.

If you use gas or propane you need to know:

How to recognize a natural gas or propane gas leak in your home; if you detect a foul odor in you home or in the service line, leave the area immediately and call your local gas company.

How to recognize a gas pipeline leak; look and listen. Look for dirt blowing into the air, for water bubbling from the ground, for fire coming from the ground, dead or dying vegetation on or near a pipeline right of way in an otherwise green area, or for a dry spot in a moist field. Listen for a roaring, blowing, or hissing sound.

What to do if you suspect a gas pipeline leak; turn off and abandon any motorized equipment, leave the area immediately, warn others to stay away, and from a safe place call local emergency personnel and the pipeline operator.

What NOT TO DO; DO NOT use open flames or bring anything into the area that may spark the gas leak (telephones, flashlights, motor vehicles, electric or battery-operated tools, etc.). DO NOT attempt to operate pipeline valves.

In a natural gas emergency or suspected natural gas emergency call 911 and the gas line company. For a natural gas emergency involving Columbia Gas of Kentucky, call their toll free number 1-800-432-9515. For those residents that use propane gas from Hardy Propane Gas Company call 723-2496.

If you use a fireplace or wood stove you should know:

Have your chimney inspected by a professional prior to the start of every heating season. Creosote, a chemical substance that forms when wood burns, builds up in chimneys and can cause a chimney fire if the chimney is not properly cleaned. Always protect your family and home by using a sturdy screen when burning fires. Remember to burn only wood–never burn paper or pine boughs, which can float out of the chimney and ignite a neighboring home. Never use flammable liquids in a fireplace. For wood stoves, chimney connections and chimney flues should be inspected at the beginning of each heating season and cleaned if necessary. Burn only wood, and be sure the wood stove is placed on an approved stove board to protect the floor from heat and hot coals.

If you use electric or kerosene heaters you should know:

Buy only electric heaters with the Underwriter’s Laboratory (UL) safety listing. Check to make sure it has a thermostat control mechanism, and will switch off automatically if the heater falls over. Heaters are not dryers or tables; don’t dry clothes or store objects on top of your heater. Space heaters need space; keep combustibles at least three feet away from each heater. Always unplug your electric space heater when not in use.

Buy only UL-approved kerosene heaters and check with your local fire department on the legality of kerosene heater use in your community. Never fill your heater with gasoline or camp stove fuel; both flare-up easily. Only use crystal clear K-1 kerosene. Never overfill any portable heater. Use the kerosene heater in a well ventilated room.

Permanent link to this article: http://estillcountyema.net/home-heating-safety/