safety tips

8 Heating Safety Tips

We're finally getting fall weather here in Southern California! It's cold, and we use different ways to keep our home warm and cozy - whether it be a portable heater or a fireplace. There are safety precautions you should take to ensure the safety of you and your home. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), heating equipment is a leading cause of home fire deaths.

Home Remodel in Belmont Heights, CA. For more photos on this home, click  here .

Home Remodel in Belmont Heights, CA. For more photos on this home, click here.

Here are some tips from the NFPA to keep our homes warm and safe.

  • Keep anything flammable at least 3 feet away from a heating element.
  • Never use your oven to heat your home.
  • Have a qualified professional install stationary space heating equipment, water heaters, or central heating equipment per the local codes and manufacturer's instructions.
  • Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional.
  • Always turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.
  • Make sure fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room.
  • Ashes should be cool before putting them in an empty metal container and keep container a safe distance away from your home.
  • Test smoke alarms monthly.

These tips can prevent most heating-related fires from occurring. For more information, you can check out the NFPA website here.

Labor Day Grilling Safety Tips

Labor Day is coming up on September 5! We usually associate Labor Day with a barbecue; so here are some grill safety tips to consider from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) to have a fun and safe Labor Day.

Photo Credit:  brent.hofacker  via  Compfight   cc

Photo Credit: brent.hofacker via Compfight cc

  • Grills should only be used outside

For Propane Grills:

  • Check all major connection points between the gas tank hose and the regulator and cylinder and where the hose connects to burners. Tighten if loose.
  • Check gas tank hose for leaks. Do not use if there are leaks.
  • If you smell gas while cooking, turn off gas tank and burners

For Charcoal Grills:

  • If using starter fluid, use only charcoal starter fluid
  • Never add charcoal fluid or any other flammable liquids to fire
  • When finished grilling, let coals completely cool before disposing in a metal container

For more detailed information on these tips, visit the NFPA blog here.

 

What to do if the Power Goes Out

With the hot weather and high electricity usage in the summer, California is prone to having power outages. There are also other factors aside from hot weather that cause power outages, such as problems at power stations or damage to equipment. Last summer, we experienced multiple power outages in Long Beach alone! 

Photo Credit:  jennifer helen  via  Compfight   cc

Photo Credit: jennifer helen via Compfight cc

When Power Goes Out

The Consumer Energy Center provides tips to keep in mind on how to respond to a power outage. 

  • Check if you are the only one without power. If you are, check your fuse box for tripped switches of blown fuses. If that seems to be the problem, reset the breaker or replace the fuse. If that does not solve the problem, call your local electricity company.
     
  • If there are downed power lines in your neighborhood, call 9-1-1 and DO NOT go near the lines. Remember, call 9-1-1 only for emergencies or if someone is injured or in danger.
     
  • Avoid a power surge when electricity returns by turning off computers, TVs, and other electronics at the power strip.
     
  • Drink plenty of water. It is important to stay hydrated, especially with the warm weather. Always have bottles of water at home, especially if you rely on your refrigerator for water.
     
  • Avoid opening your refrigerator and freezer. Opening your refrigerator and freezer will let the cold air out, causing perishable food to go bad faster. Leaving them closed will allow food to stay cold for hours. DO NOT eat food from your refrigerator if you haven't had power for more than a day.
     
  • DO NOT use candles for a source of light. Candles are a fire hazard. Stick to flashlights. It would be a good idea to keep flashlights around the house with a fresh set of batteries.

Things to Keep Around the House

Since power outages in California occur more often than we like, here are some things to keep around your home so you won't be left in the dark.

  • Bottles of water. If you rely on your refrigerator for drinking water, this is important.
     
  • Flashlights are good to keep around the house with fresh batteries.
     
  • A charged battery pack for your cellphone. This will help you keep your cell phones charged so you have a means of communication.

Keep these tips in mind so you're prepared for the next time a power outage occurs.

For more information on these tips, visit the Consumer Energy Center blog here.

Fireworks Safety Tips

Unfortunately in Long Beach, fireworks are illegal, but if you live in a city where fireworks are allowed or plan to partake in fireworks this 4th of July, here are some firework safety tips from the National Council on Firework Safety.

Photo Credit:  Will, de Lyon  via  Compfight   cc

Photo Credit: Will, de Lyon via Compfight cc

  • Only use fireworks outdoors free of overhead obstructions and away from dry grass or other flammable materials.
  • Obey all local laws regarding the use of fireworks.
  • Never give fireworks to young children.
  • Wear safety glasses when shooting fireworks.
  • Always have a bucket of water and charged water hose nearby.
  • Dispose of spent product by wetting it down and place it in a metal trash can away from any building or combustible materials until morning.

Keeping these tips in mind to ensure a fun and safe 4th of July!