By Michele Worthington
Special to The SUN
Home heating is a saving grace this time of year. But, for as much comfort as it provides us, it also exposes us to certain safety hazards.
According to the American Red Cross, home heating is one of the leading causes of house fires in the U.S. We at LEAP want to make sure you keep warm safely during these next few months. LEAP is the Colorado Department of Human Services’ Low-income Energy Assistance Program, which provides cash assistance to help Coloradans pay a portion of winter home-heating costs.
“Home-heating safety is simple but crucial,” LEAP manager Aggie Berens says. “We encourage everyone to follow a few basic steps to make sure their home heating doesn’t put them at risk.”
The following home heating safety tips come from the American Red Cross, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the National Fire Protection Association.
• Keep anything flammable at least three feet away from heating equipment, like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove or portable space heater.
• Never leave portable heaters or fireplaces unattended. Turn off space heaters and make sure any fireplace embers are extinguished before going to bed or leaving your home.
• Place space heaters on a level, hard and nonflammable surface (like a ceramic tile floor). Keep them off of carpets or rugs and away from bedding or drapes. Also keep children and pets away from space heaters.