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Safety Tips for This Holiday Season


Thanksgiving Day marks the beginning of the holiday season in the US. Many families will be gathering at each otherís homes to celebrate Christmas Day, Hanukkah, Kwanza, and Bodhi Day etcÖ Joyous songs will be sung, ornaments will be displayed, gifts will be exchanged and parties will be held across the country to commemorate this special time for all of us.

As you deck the halls this holiday season itís important that you become fire smart and take the necessary precautions to ensure that you have a safe holiday. It doesnít take much to start a small fire. A small fire that spreads to a Christmas tree can grow large very quickly. So when picking the tree, choose a tree with fresh, green needles that do not fall off when touched. If a tree is too dry it is highly flammable and it wonít take very much to start a fire. As much as itís fun to look at all of the colorful lights on your Christmas tree, always turn them off before leaving home or going to bed.

Itís important to keep anything that can burn and that includes your Christmas tree at least three-feet away from heating equipment. The furnace, fireplace, wood stove, or portable space heater are obvious examples of heating equipment but itís also important to keep it away from other electrical and non-electrical devices such as radiators, heat vents, lights and candles.

You should always use the right kind of fuel as specified by the manufacturer, for fuel burning space heaters. Also, all furnace controls and emergency shutoffs should be inspected to ensure that they are in proper working condition.

While itís important to leave chimney and fireplace repairs to qualified specialists there are some signs that you can look for to help you determine if your fireplace is in good working condition. If the walls and ceiling near the furnace and along the chimney line are hot or discolored this might be an indication that additional pipe insulation or clearance may be required. If you see cracking or holes in the flue pipe and/or pipe seams you might have a leak. Call a fireplace and chimney professional immediately.

Children donít always have a good sense of the potential danger of heating appliances, so itís important that parents enforce a strict three-foot ďkid-free zoneĒ around open fires and space heaters. Fireplace screens are effective in reducing the chance that an older child or adult gets to near to an open fire. However, for younger children and babies, the safest form of protection is a baby proof fireplace gate.

It seems that as friends and family come and visit and stay late, many people forget to turn off their heating appliances which increase the chance of a fire. Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed. When the big day arrives and everybody is opening their gifts and leaving wrapping paper on the floor itís wise to keep trash and other combustibles away from the heating system.

You may be one of the many people that decide their heating appliances wonít do the job over the holidays and you might purchase a new appliance. While you might be tempted to install it yourself, itís important to have a qualified professional install stationary space heating equipment, water heaters or central heating equipment according to the local codes and manufacturerís instructions.

And itís not too late to give American Fireplace a call to schedule a call to have your chimney cleaned. All heating equipment and chimneys should be cleaned or inspected every year by a qualified professional. From our family to yours, we would like to wish all Americans Happy Holidays, a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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