Cold weather brings safety warnings

Winter ice, Nashville Airport runway
(Photo: WKRN)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — The National Fire Protection Association, in light of approaching cold weather, is reminding homeowners about the dangers of household heating.

Using things like portable space heaters, wood burning stoves and fireplaces to warm your home can be dangerous. In fact, the misuse of those items is the leading cause of home fire deaths in the United States according to the NFPA.

Not only is fire a risk, but carbon monoxide poisoning could occur.

Things like vehicles and generators running in an attached garage can produce a dangerous amount of CO and should always be vented to the outside.

In 2010, the NFPA reports they received an average of nine calls per hour on non-fire CO incidents.

The NFPA encourages you to install and maintain CO alarms and following instructions when installing stoves or gas heaters.

Other safety tips to keep you warm this winter:

  • Never use your oven to heat your home.
  • Hire a professional to inspect and clean your chimneys and heating equipment.
  • Turn portable heaters off when you go to bed or leave the room.
  • Place a screen in front of your fireplace to prevent sparks and burn only dry, seasoned wood. Dispose cooled ashes in a metal container a safe distance from the home.
  • Remove your vehicle from the garage immediately after starting it, even if the garage doors are open.
  • Check vents for the dryer, furnace, stove and fireplace are clear of any snow build-up.
  • Test smoke and CO alarms monthly.

For more information about fire safety, click here.

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