Top 10 Tips for Safely Lighting and Heating Your Home

Who doesn’t love the warm glow of candlelight? Who hasn’t snuggled up to the soothing sound and feel of a portable room heater? These things are cozy but they may not be the smartest choice for heating and lighting your home. In fact, they can be really dangerous, as can most other ways of keeping your home warm and well-lit.

Here are ten important safety tips for heating and lighting your home:

1. Never leave potential fire hazards unattended. That means that you don’t go out of a room where a candle is burning, a portable space heater is on or there’s a fire going in the fireplace!

2. Always dry your hands before working on electricity. So if you need to flip your circuit breaker on and off to get your electricity back on after an outage, dry your hands first!

3. Don’t ignore energy problems in the home. Do appliances like your iron take a long time to heat up? Do your lights go dim when you turn on major home appliances? Do you get a small shock when using appliances? This isn’t normal and should be checked out to make sure your home’s wiring is up to date.

4. Look at your electric cords. They should be in good condition, not at all worn out, and they should not be twisted or crushed by anything. All electric cords should be kept away from both heat and water.

5. Heat-producing appliances should always be cooled before putting them away. Don’t put your toaster into a cabinet when it’s still warm, for example.

6. Use the right light bulbs. All lighting fixtures are designed to operate with a certain wattage light bulb; make sure you’re using the correct bulbs. If you aren’t sure what the right wattage is, always use a bulb no stronger than 60 watts.

7. Use the right portable heaters. It should have a seal on it showing it is certified for use. It should be placed on a stable surface at least three feet away from anything that could catch on fire. If it ever seems like it’s not working right, turn it off and unplug it immediately.

8. Do not use portable heaters in the bathroom or anywhere that water damage is likely. It is much safer to install a fixed heating fan in the bathroom.

9. Follow all instructions when using an electric blanket. The blanket should always be flat, not folded. The wires should never be exposed. If there are any dark or frayed spots, the blanket is dangerous.

10. All outlets and switches should be cool to the touch. If they are not, get an electrician to check them out immediately.

Publish Date: 2012-10-03 08:00:58

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