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Children's Health

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Fire Safety Measures

Potential Fire Hazards continued...

Kerosene Heaters

  • Learn local and state codes and regulations about the use of kerosene heaters. These heaters are illegal for home use in some areas.
  • Use kerosene only. Never use gasoline in your heater. Gasoline is highly volatile, greatly increasing the risk of fire. Refill kerosene heaters outside after they have cooled down.
  • If a flare-up occurs, activate the manual shut-off switch and call your fire department.
  • Place the heater at least three feet away from anything that can burn and in a low traffic area so it will not be knocked over or trap you in the event of a fire.
  • Keep the room ventilated (a door open, or a window ajar) to prevent an indoor air pollution problem.

Gas-Fired Space Heaters

These heaters should not be used in small, enclosed areas -- especially bedrooms -- because there is potential for explosion or carbon monoxide poisoning.

  • Follow the manufacturer's instructions for lighting the pilot. Otherwise, gas vapors can accumulate and ignite, burning your hand or face.
  • Light a match to ignite the pilot before you turn on the gas; it will prevent gas buildup. Keep flammable materials away from gas-fired appliances.
  • Do not use a propane heater (LP) with a gas cylinder.

Other Hazards

  • Use proper fuses in electrical boxes, do not overload outlets, and use insulated and grounded electrical cords.
  • Keep trash cleaned up in attics, basements, and garages.
  • Be careful with gas equipment such as lawn mowers, snow blowers, and chain saws.
  • Avoid fireworks. Think of safety first when dealing with fireworks.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Varnada Karriem-Norwood, MD on February 19, 2014
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