Maybe you haven't been outside in the last day or two, but it definitely doesn't feel like summer, anymore. Thanks to the meteorological process of bombogenesis, temperatures will plunge into the 30s this week, with ripple effects expected for the remainder of the month of November. But before you crank up your furnace, here are some helpful safety tips from Temple Fire & Rescue.

Home Heating Safety Tips

With cold weather scheduled to arrive this week in Central Texas, Temple Fire & Rescue along with other safety professionals offer the following tips to keep your home warm and safe.

Portable Space Heaters

  • When purchasing a space heater, look for the UL label.
  • Plug space heaters directly into outlets and never into an extension cord or power strip.
  • Keep anything that can burn at least 3 feet away from space heaters.
  • An adult should be in the room when a space heater is on.
  • Turn space heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.

Fireplace/Wood Burning Stoves

  • Use dry, seasoned hard woods.  Don’t burn wrapping paper or boxes since this could start a chimney fire.
  • Keep furniture and other items which can burn at least 3 feet away.
  • Have a professional chimney sweep inspect and clean your chimney.
  • Use a fireplace screen or glass doors to keep embers inside the fireplace.
  • Place ashes in a metal container outdoors at least 24 hours before disposal.

Central Heater/Furnace

  • Have a qualified professional inspect and service your home heating system.
  • Check the furnace filter monthly, replace as instructed by the manufacturer.

Use the Correct Appliance

  • Never use an oven to heat your home
  • Never use a gas/charcoal grill inside the home or closed garage.
  • A portable electric generator must be operated in an outside area, never indoors.

General Tips

  • Supervise children whenever a fireplace, wood burning stove or space heater is in use.  Have a three-foot “kid free” zone around open fires and space heaters.
  • Install at least one smoke alarm on each floor level of the home and inside or near sleeping areas.
  • Install at least one carbon monoxide (CO) alarm per floor level to provide early warning of deadly CO.
  • Make a home escape plan with 2 ways out of each room.  Practice your plan to make sure it works.

Additional information is available on the following websites:

Thanks to Thomas Pechal, PIO, for this media release.