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The Western Reserve Group offers a comprehensive and competitively priced portfolio of personal, farm, and commercial insurance products. The products are backed by experienced employees dedicated to providing the best possible products and service to agents and policyholders.

WINTER SAFETY ~ TIPS TO HELP MAKE WINTER LESS PAINFUL

WINTER SAFETY ~ FIRE PROTECTION

WHAT TO DO BEFORE WINTER STORMS AND EXTREME COLD

SAFETY TIPS ~ WINTER DRIVING

TEMPERATURE RELATED WINTER SAFETY TIPS

WINTER STORM PREPARATIONS

FIRE SAFETY FOR SUPPLEMENTAL HEAT

 

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FIRE SAFETY FOR SUPPLEMENTAL HEAT

Helpful Tips

 

Rising Energy Costs May Trigger More Heating Fires

Caution Should Be Exercised With The Use Of Heating Devices


With the high cost of heating, many people will be using alternative sources to heat their homes this winter. Whether you have a wood stove, fireplace, fireplace insert, electric/fuel-burning space heaters, or a combination furnace, proper installation and maintenance are essential for safety.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, there were 45,500 home heating fires reported to the U.S. fire departments in 2002. The N.F.P.A. indicates these fires resulted in 220 deaths, 990 injuries and $449 million in property damage.


According to the National Fire Protection Association:

  • Over 75% of fire deaths occur in residences.
  • On average, there is a residential fire every half-hour.
  • Fireplaces and chimneys were involved in 43% of home heating fires.
  • Wood stoves, including fixed and portable space heaters, were involved in 25% of home heating fires.

There are 4 Major Supplemental Heating Sources :

  • Wood stoves
  • Fireplaces/Fireplace Inserts
  • Electric baseboard space heaters
  • Space heaters

 

 

HAZARDS ASSOCIATED

With

Wood Stoves/Fireplaces/Fireplace inserts

  • All units should be installed by a qualified technician and labeled by Underwriters Laboratory (UL) or another Independent Test Laboratory to insure proper installation specifications. Regular maintenance is vital for the efficiency and safe operation of these units. Solid fuel units require more maintenance than other types of heating systems.
  • Clearances between a wood stove and other combustibles including floors, walls and ceilings must meet specific clearance requirements. Units sitting too close to flammable materials cause many fires.
  • Creosote buildup (which is a very flammable byproduct of combustion that can build up within the stovepipe and chimney) can ignite and cause chimney fires. This can also occur if the unit is connected to the same flue used by other heating sources and if the wood being used is not seasoned wood. Chimneys and stovepipes should always be swept and cleaned.
  • Fireplace inserts should have the vent directly connected to the flue of the chimney. Without this proper connection, creosote accumulation may build up in the flue. This is a leading cause of soot back-up and fire/smoke damage throughout the home.
  • Fireplaces and fireplace inserts should be equipped with screens to prevent sparks from flying. Sparks and embers can easily ignite rugs, papers and other combustibles. Keep the screen or glass doors closed when your fireplace is in use.
  • The ashes from fireplaces, fireplace inserts and wood stoves, should always be placed in an approved metal container with a tight lid and placed on a non-combustible surface. Ashes stay hot for a very long time. Hot ashes being placed on a porch or in a garage have caused many fires. Ashes should be stored outside and away from anything combustible.  

 

 

HAZARDS ASSOCIATED

With

Space Heaters powered by:

Electric/Gas/Propane/Kerosene or Other Fuel

  • Permanent space heaters should always be installed by a qualified technician and labeled by Underwriters Laboratory (UL) or another Independent Test Laboratory. These types of units should be inspected and checked annually. Failure to follow these instructions can result in injury or death.
  • Electric space heaters should never be used on overloaded outlets or circuit breakers. Wiring of the home must meet specific manufacturing requirements. Overloading can cause a fire.
  • Electric heaters can cause furniture, clothing and bedding to burn. If you use an electric heater, remember: Space Heaters Need Space! Most installation requirments specify that a 36" clearance should be maintained between the unit and any combustibles.
  • Gas and other fuel related space heaters need proper air ventilation. Without proper ventilation, carbon monoxide gas can build to hazardous or deadly levels.

 

 

SMOKE and CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTORS

Smoke Detectors and Carbon Monoxide Detectors are desirable for any home but are especially IMPORTANT if you have any type of supplemental heating device.

Place detectors throughout the house as the manufacturer recommends. Make sure the units are UL listed or Factory Mutual (FM) approved and are tested monthly.

 


 

 

If you are planning on purchasing a solid fuel appliance, contact your local fire department or building code officials to inquire about local ordinances. If you have just purchased a home with a solid fuel burning appliance, try to locate the information plate label or the operating manual or contact the manufacturer to determine proper installation.

If you choose to supplement your primary heat with the installation of a wood burning stove or fireplace insert, we would urge you to contact your local agent upon completion. Your agent may arrange an onsite inspection of the unit to provide the Company with the specific information about your new unit.

All types of supplemental heating sources can be hazardous if misused or installed incorrectly. Never leave a supplemental heating source unattended due to their inherent increased potential for fire.

Western Reserve Group is committed to your personal safety. When using any of these units, remember: proper installation and maintenance are essential for safety.

 

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