Heating equipment -- especially portable spaces heaters and open fireplaces -- is one of the leading causes of home fires in Oklahoma.
To prevent against fires, homeowners should follow these few guidelines:
1. Make sure heaters have adequate ventilation
Keep sources of heat away from curtains, drapery and other flammable materials to ensure there is no fuel source.
2. Have your home heating unit checked annually
It's important to make sure your equipment is working efficiently and safely. If
3. Follow manufacturer's instructions
If you use kerosene space heaters, make sure each heater has an automatic shut-off in case it tips over. Also, make sure to use the correct fuel source.
4. Never leave heat sources unattended
Unattended heaters can be dangerous and spark fires if they malfunction. Always keep an eye out and power them down if you leave the room.
5. Install an adequate number of smoke alarms
Most fatal fires occur between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. while most families are sleeping. The advance warning of a smoke alarm can mean the difference between life and death.
If you already have alarms installed, make sure to replace the batteries in them annually. Also, know your family's escape plan and have a predetermined meeting place outside the house in case a fire breaks out.