5 Things: Fire Safety With Alternative Heating Sources

Alternative heating sources can present a greater risk of fire than conventional means of heating your house or apartment.


Here are five things to know Jan. 8, 2013 in Swampscott:

1) Fire Watch: As temperatures drop, people start looking for creative ways to heat their homes – and we see a spike in house and apartment fires, says the American Red Cross. Alternative heat sources can carry greater risks than traditional methods, and can lead to a disastrous blaze, the relief agency says. Below are suggestions to stay warm and safe:

  • Inspect fireplaces and wood stoves - Have your chimney connections and flues inspected and cleaned by a professional before every heating season. Use a sturdy screen when burning fires. Only burn wood, and never leave the fire unattended.
  • Check smoke detectors – Install new batteries in your smoke detectors and make sure detectors are working properly.
  • Do not overuse electrical outlets – Don’t overload your electrical outlets with heating sources or appliances. Be careful of extension cords that can cause you to trip.
  • Use caution with portable space heaters – Place space heaters at least three feet away from anything combustible, including wallpaper, bedding and clothing. Do not leave children or pets unattended near space heaters, and never leave space heaters on when you leave the room or go to bed. Look for a model that shuts off automatically if it tips over.
  • Use generators carefully – Always operate portable generators outside – never indoors.
  • Never use the stove or oven to heat your home.
  • Create a disaster supplies kit - Place lifesaving items in both your home and vehicle. Go to www.redcross.org for a list of materials to include.
  • If a fire occurs in your home, GET OUT, STAY OUT and CALL for help.
  • Talk with all household members about a fire escape plan and practice the plan twice a year.

Sixty-five percent of home fire deaths occur in homes without working smoke alarms. In the event of a fire, working smoke alarms and a practiced fire escape plan can save lives. For more fire safety tips, visit www.redcross.org.

2) Newsbit of the Day: The Historical Commission will receive updates on the historical district study and the status of the former school at 71 Greenwood when they meet tonight at 7 at Town Hall.

3) Swampscott Scholars: Swampscott High Class of 2012 graduate Courtney Leblanc received the Swampscott Firefighters Union 1459 Scholarship.   

4) Weather Watch: Mostly sunny, with a high near 44. 

5) Big Blue Watch: The Swampscott High swimming and diving team takes to the pool against Danvers at 5 at the Danvers YMCA pool.


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