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Prevent Fire Damage in the Living Room - part 1
By Jonathan Meyer
There are many causes of fire damage in the living room, many of which are easy to prevent if given enough attention.
To keep your living room hazard-free, follow the basic safety rules:
- Keep adequate clearance around heaters.
- Do not overload extension cords and outlets.
- Be aware of the hazards of burning cigarettes and candles.
Heating and Heaters
You should sit at least three feet from a heater. By sitting closer, you could easily set your clothing or your chair on fire, especially if you fall asleep.
Do not use flammable adhesives, cleaning fluids or aerosol sprays near a heater. Keep aerosols away from any heat source.
When heating the living room with an open fire, such as with fireplaces, fuel and embers may fall out of the heating source and ignite combustibles items nearby.
Make sure there is enough air to allow fuel to burn properly and burn only suitable materials. Do not use flammable liquids to light fires. Use a metal or glass fireplace screen whenever you use open fire heating.
Have the chimney inspected at least once a year and clean any build-up of soot regularly.
Most fires caused by portable heaters start when the heater is placed too close to furniture or other combustible materials.
Keep a 3-foot clearance around heaters to assure nothing will catch fire. Never place a heater too close to furniture, curtains and cushions and be sure to place it where it will not be bumped or tripped over. Affixing a heater to the wall or floor will provide additional safety.
Turn off and allow enough cooling time before moving a portable heater.
Check the label to see when your upholstered furniture was manufactured. If it was manufactured before 1988, it is not fire-resistant and can catch fire and release poisonous smoke.
By law, modern upholstered furniture must be resistant to ignition from burning cigarettes and matches and, therefore, are safer. However, be careful even with modern furniture.
Smart Tips for Fire Damage Prevention in the Living Room:
- Keep at least three feet from a heater.
- Use a fireplace screen.
- Check and clean the chimney at least once a year.
- Never place a heater too close to furniture, curtains and cushions.
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