Beautiful fall foliage enraptured us as the uncharacteristic warm October days captured our collective fancy, beckoning one last wink of outdoor enjoyment before we don the overcoat. The brief reprieve from what nippy autumn weather is supposed to be like did not last that long, though. Before we could even ponder putting our summer clothes away, the crisp, cool more typical climate for this time of year hit us full force, forcefully nudging homeowners, condo owners and renters, as well as auto, truck and van drivers to turn on the heat. No more air conditioning, the winds told us – until the arrival of spring, if the rise in the trusty thermometer’s mercury resonates…

Insurance companies, as well as agencies across the country, have long dealt with claims and lawsuits in regard to fires, home damage and the general liability that results from improper maintenance and usage of heating sources. This primer, therefore, is time-worthy for the season of climate change – when the warm rays of what some refer to as Indian summer allow the natural course of chill to take over.

How to Avoid Home Heater Fire Risks

1. Don’t put on a professional technician’s hat if you are a layman. Reserve your furnace or alternate heating system’s maintenance to the professionals that can minimize associated fire-hazards.

2. Leave clothing and shoe drying to conventional methods. Do not place wet attire atop a transportable heater. Do not place any such article too close to the heater that it may spark a potential fire.

3. Always supervise children and house pets in a room that is heated by a space heater.

4. Inspect your space heaters electrical cord regularly for any form of damage, including exposed wiring. Should the cord display wear and tear, do not use.

5. Never start a home fire in a fireplace or wood stove with newspaper or other flammable materials. Instead, use a minimal quantity of quality firewood that has not been in contact with moisture so that the ignited fire will be easily manageable. This will also ensure your chimney and/or stove pipes are free of unsafe tar and creosote accumulation that can lead to a home fire.

6. Enforce a good distance between kids and any heating fires.

7. All ignitable liquids, like gas or paint, should preferably be stored in a cool garage. Never place these fluids next to any form of heating device.

8. Prior to and after drying your clothes in the dryer, remove lint from the filter.

9. If your fuses are blowing or your circuit breaker is causing home outages, consider the likely possibility of a faulty electrical system. Refer the problem to a licensed and insured electrician for further investigation and fixing.

10. Have your smoke alarm tested monthly.

11. Make sure your house insurance is reviewed by an insurance specialist for optimum fire damage protection. If your policy is not tailored to your residence, ask your agent to shop the network for a more fitting plan at a competitively low quote.

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