As cold weather sets in, furnaces and space heaters are being turned on, and with the holidays approaching, more people are cooking and baking. Although it is certainly a more festive time of year, it is also a time when fires and burn injuries increase. With awareness and caution, you can prevent injuries and property damage. Here are a few tips for keeping your home and loved ones safe:
Turn pot handles inward so they are not easily knocked off the stove.
Contain electrical cords to convection ovens and coffee pots so they can’t topple onto someone.
Wear short or rolled-up sleeves to avoid flames while cooking.
Turn off the stovetop if you need to leave the kitchen.
Use turkey fryers only where there is proper ventilation.
Ensure that children and pets stay away from stovetops and hot ovens.
Furnaces should be checked and maintained regularly by a professional.
If you smell natural gas leaking from your furnace lines, leave the house immediately.
Fireplaces should be cleaned yearly to reduce the buildup of creosote, which can ignite.
Avoid burning trash, paper, or green wood, and always use a fireplace screen that is large enough to cover the opening, and heavy enough to prevent rolling logs.
Wood stoves should be checked for obstructions monthly, and combustible items must be kept far away.
Space heaters should be kept on the floor, away from combustible materials, and out of high-traffic areas.
Only use heaters with the Underwriters Laboratory safety listing.
With kerosene heaters, use only crystal-clear K1 kerosene.
Electrical Distribution and Lighting Equipment
Keep trees at least three feet away from a heat source, and make sure they do not block an exit.
Water your tree daily to avoid dry needles, and remove dead trees immediately.
Replace lights containing worn or broken cords.
Read manufacturers’ directions regarding a safe number of light strands to connect.
Never light trees with real candles.
Always turn tree lights off before going to bed, as well as other decorative lights.
Never overload outlets, and use surge protectors when multiple outlets are needed.
Never use a three-prong plug in a two-prong outlet or extension cord.If you or a loved one has suffered from a burn injury that you believe was due to another’s negligence or defective product, please call the New Jersey burn injury lawyers at Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow & McElroy, LLP at 732-777-0100, or contact us online for a free consultation. Our offices are located in Red Bank, Toms River, and Edison, New Jersey, and we serve clients throughout the state.