Though winter seems nearly past, this is no time to become lax on safely heating your home. So the Hilton Head Island Fire & Rescue Division offers this advice on responsible use of heating devices:
For propane and kerosene heaters:
• Use in well-ventilated areas.
• Inspect exhaust parts for buildup.
• Store the fuel in metal containers outside the house.
• Make sure it has an emergency shut-off function in case it tips.
Electric space heaters:
• Use at least three feet from furniture, walls and bedding.
• Make sure they have an emergency shut-off function in case it tips or overheats.
• Should be three feet from combustible surfaces.
• Burn hot twice a day for 15 to 30 minutes to reduce the chance of a chimney fire.
• Hardwoods like oak and hickory burn cleaner than softwoods like pine and cedar.
• Chimneys should be inspected for cracking or deterioration.
• Clear the area around the hearth and keep a glass or metal screen in front of the opening.
• Never overload the fireplace with too many logs or stack logs at the rear of the fireplace.
• Never close the damper until you know the fire is out.
For more details, call Cinda Seamon at Hilton Head Island Fire & Rescue at 843-682-5141.