If using heaters, take extra precautions

Johnson City Press • Jan 8, 2014 at 8:46 AM

Holy Polar Vortex! That’s all that needs to be said about the frigid temperatures now gripping our region.Even the heartiest fans of winter weather have to admit it’s bone-chilling cold. The Arctic temperatures have left heat pumps and gas furnaces straining to push back the chill.Many local homeowners have turned to auxiliary heaters to help combat the cold. If you are one of these people, we want to remind you of the importance of following all the safety precautions when using these devices.With the cold, there often comes a tragic story of a family left homeless by fire started by an auxiliary heater located too close to a flammable object. If you use an electrical or a kerosene heater, be sure that you are following all the safety precautions listed on the devices. That includes keeping the heater at least 3 feet from drapes, furniture and other flammable materials.Never leave a space heater on when you go to sleep, and turn the device off when you leave home.There should be a smoke detector on each level of the house, inside every bedroom and outside the bedrooms in each sleeping area. Residents who use gas or oil space heaters also should install a carbon monoxide detector outside every bedroom.

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