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Home heating tips for the winter

I want to share with my readers some home-heating safety tips to help cope with the dropping temperatures in the Las Vegas Valley. The last thing anyone wants is a fire to start our new year.

Winter safety checklist for portable and space heaters

■ When purchasing a portable heater or using a space or portable heater, make sure it carries a UL or FM label and is approved for your intended use.

■ Portable heating devices should be at least 3 feet from anything combustible, including paper, drapery, bedding and clothing.

■ Always turn off space heaters when you leave your home and before bedtime. Check them on a regular basis.

■ Don’t use a portable heater to substitute for your dryer! Drying mittens or other combustibles over a space or portable heater can cost a fire.

■ All cords on electric heaters should be in good shape. Check periodically for any frays or breaks in the insulation surrounding the wires.

■ Check the cord and outlet occasionally for overheating; if it feels hot, turn it off.

Liquid-fueled and gas-burning heaters

■ Heating appliances with open flames must be vented to the outside to eliminate the possibility of carbon monoxide poisoning.

■ Read and faithfully adhere to the manufacturers’ instructions and recommendations.

■ Make sure the unit is cooled off before refueling. Refuel the container outside the structure. Clearly mark the name of the fuel and store it in a container approved by the fire department.

Heat

Use safe alternative heat sources and follow manufacturers’ instructions. Never substitute one type of fuel for another. To prevent carbon monoxide poisoning follow these tips:

■ Ensure adequate ventilation.

■ Do not operate generators indoors or near ventilation.

■ Do not use charcoal or gas grills to cook indoors.

■ Do not use your gas oven or dryer to heat your home.

■ Close off rooms you do not need.

If the power goes out

■ If someone in your home is on life support or is otherwise electricity-dependent because of a disability, immediately notify your city emergency management department and your utility.

■ If you lose power, or if power is lost in your neighborhood, contact NV Energy as soon as possible.

■ Turn off or unplug lights and appliances to prevent a circuit overload (spike) when the power returns. Leave one light on to let you know when power has been restored.

■ Avoid and report downed power lines or areas where ice, trees or objects are laying on the lines.

Barbara Holland is a certified property manager, broker and supervisory certified association manager. Questions may be sent to holland744o@gmail.com.

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