Preventing Fires In the Home this Winter
In addition to normal home fire risks such as cooking appliances, candles, and smoking, there are plenty of seasonal indoor fire hazards to worry about during the holidays. Below are some tips to prevent a potentially deadly situation and a trip to the emergency room :
Traditional heating sources such as fireplaces and woodburning stoves have a rustic charm, but smoke and carbon monoxide fumes can easily build up without proper ventilation. Wood stoves and fireplaces should have plenty of clearance from flammable surfaces (approximately 36”) and the floor underneath should provide proper support and protection. It isn’t uncommon for birds to nest in the top over summer and spring, so make sure that the chimney/flue pipe is free of debris before use.
Homeowners often keep certain areas warm with kerosene or electrical space heaters. Kerosene and other fuels should be safely stored in a well-ventilated area outside of the home. Kerosene does produce carbon monoxide, so it is important to exercise space heater safety and use kerosene-based units in a well-ventilated room with a carbon monoxide detector; never leave one unattended. All space heaters should be located well away from any loose curtains or clothing.
Plugging in several extension cords to the same outlet is a major electrical hazard, and a short could easily result in an electrical fire. A standard household 120V power outlet can handle about 16 amps at most, so keep track of how many lights you have plugged in at any given time and follow safety instructions carefully. Be aware that even if you’re within safety parameters, a heavy outlet extender or loose extension cord can expose the terminals and still cause a short.
Here at Los Robles Hospital & Medical Center, we understand the importance of family and friends, which is why our family of healthcare professionals work to provide a superior standard of care based on the latest treatments. To find a medical specialist in the Thousand Oaks area, call (805) 497-2727 today.
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