How Ohio Homeowners Can Stay Safe When They Turn Up the Heat This Winter

CLEVELAND (WJW) – With temperatures dropping and more people turning on their heaters, there are steps you can take to keep your family safe while keeping your home warm.

Heating is the second leading cause of home fires and injuries, and the third leading cause of home fire death, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Most of these fires occur in December, January and February.

From 2014 to 2018, the NFPA reports that fire departments responded to an estimated average of 48,530 fires involving heating equipment. As a result, 500 people lost their lives, more than 1,300 were injured and the damage was estimated at over $ 1 billion.

Here are some of their tips for keeping loved ones safe this winter:
• Keep anything that can burn at least three feet from heating appliances, such as furnaces, fireplaces, woodstoves or portable radiators.
• Never use your oven to heat your home.
• Have a qualified professional install stationary space heating equipment, water heaters, or central heating equipment in accordance with local codes and the manufacturer’s instructions.
• Have heaters and chimneys cleaned and inspected annually by a qualified professional.
• Remember to turn off portable heaters when you leave the room or go to bed.
• Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to prevent sparks from flying into the room. The ashes must be
cool before putting them in a metal container. Keep the container a safe distance from your home.
• Test smoke detectors at least once a month.

Dominion Ohio Energy also publishes tips for saving energy and staying safe. The company said that an annual inspection of the gas heater can ensure safety and increase efficiency.

The most important thing: If you smell natural gas inside a house or building, leave immediately and call Dominion East Ohio 24 hour emergency service at 1-877- 542-2630. Do not try to locate the gas leak, open windows, use your phone, turn on electrical switches, or use lighters.

Dominion Energy Ohio has also encouraged its customers to purchase a carbon monoxide detector as a second line of defense. Exposure to CO produces flu-like symptoms, such as headache, fatigue, nausea, dizziness, confusion or irritability at low levels and vomiting, drowsiness and dizziness. loss of consciousness or even death, at high levels.

If you suspect carbon monoxide, get everyone out of the house, see a doctor, and call the fire department.

The company said meters and vents should be free of snow, ice and bushes.

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