OKLAHOMA CITY – While Oklahoma has experienced some pretty mild weather this Fall, things are about to change. With forecasters predicting a major cold snap coming our way, now is a great time to make sure your home heating system is working properly.

Proper maintenance not only protects your family from avoidable fire dangers, but protects all of Oklahoma from fire disasters and increasing insurance rates. Last year, insurance companies paid out over $90 million in claims for fire-related damages. These simple tips from the Oklahoma City Fire Department will help you protect your family, and your property, as you crank up the heat.

  • Keep flammable objects away from furnaces, fireplaces and other heating units.
  • Clean or replace the furnace filter and clean entire furnace area to remove debris.
  • Have heating units inspected by a licensed contractor.
  • Clean fireplaces and chimneys.
  • Before going to bed at night, check that fires are completely out and space heaters have proper ventilation.
  • Make sure your carbon monoxide detector is working properly. If you don’t have a carbon monoxide detector, get one.
  • Never discard hot ashes inside or near the home. Place them in a metal container outside and well away from the house.
  • Never use a range or an oven as a supplemental heating device. Not only is it a safety hazard, it can be a source of potentially toxic fumes.
  • If you use an electric heater, be sure not to overload the circuit. Only use extension cords which have the necessary rating to carry the amp load. TIP: Choose an extension cord the same size or larger than the appliance electrical cord.

Many fire departments, including Oklahoma City and Tulsa, offer free smoke detectors, batteries and installation to residents who request it. It’s a product that can save your life. With a smoke detector and a little caution, we can all remain safe and healthy during the fall and winter seasons.