The summertime rite of passage essential to a good picnic, ‘throwing another shrimp, hotdog, hamburger, or salmon on the barbie,’ has passed. Cooler temperatures are creeping in and Alaskans need to ensure that their home heating equipment will operate safely not only ensures safety but also reduces heating costs.
Many homeowners forget about their heating systems until they use them for the first time each fall. Malfunctioning and misused heating equipment were the leading causes of home fires in Alaska for 2009 and 2010. Malfunctioning heating equipment is also a source of deadly carbon monoxide gas. Alaska State Fire Marshal David Tyler is urging Alaskan’s to have their heating systems inspected by certified professionals and repaired or replaced as needed.
Suggestions include heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected by a qualified professional; Installing and maintaining carbon monoxide alarms to avoid risk of carbon monoxide poisoning; Combustibles kept at least 3 feet from heating equipment; Supervise children when a fireplace, fire pit, or other space heater is being used; Make sure all heating equipment has a label from a recognized testing laboratory; Do not use extension cords for portable electric space heaters; Use only approved fuel for each type of heater; Do not use cooking appliances to heat a home.
“Ensure your families safety,” Tyler said in a press release. “Having working smoke alarms, planning and practicing your fire escape plan and adding residential fire suppression sprinklers can ensure your families safety in case of a devastating home fire.”