To keep your living room hazard-free, follow the basic safety rules:
- Keep adequate clearance around heaters.
- Do not overload extension cords and outlets.
- Be aware of the hazards of burning cigarettes and candles.
Make sure that extension cords do not run under rugs or carpets and that they are not looped over nails or other sharp objects that could cause them to fray. Start with checking the outlets, sockets, and extension cord. If you have children, sockets must be covered with child-proof fittings. Keep clearance around the TV and stereo equipment to allow an air space around them and prevent overheating.
You should sit at least three feet from a heater. By sitting closer, you could easily set your clothing or your chair on fire, especially if you fall asleep. Keep aerosols away from any heat source Do not use flammable adhesives, cleaning fluids or aerosol sprays near a heater.
Ashtrays should be large, deep and frequently emptied. Too small or too full ashtrays are hazardous. Childproof lighters and matchboxes are recommended if children are present Do not leave burning cigarettes unattended, even in an ashtray. Be sure to extinguish smoking materials before you leave the room or go to sleep.
Use solid and stable ashtrays, made of non-combustible material. Keep matches and lighters out of the reach of children and educate children that matches and lighters are not toys. They can fall onto furniture, newspapers or fabrics and smolder developing into a serious fire within minutes. The contents of ashtrays must be cold before you throw them to the trash.
Do not use flammable liquids to light fires. When heating the living room with an open fire, such as with fireplaces, fuel and embers may fall out of the heating source and ignite combustibles items nearby. Use a metal or glass fireplace screen whenever you use open fire heating. Have the chimney inspected at least once a year and clean any build-up of soot regularly Make sure there is enough air to allow fuel to burn properly and burn only suitable materials.
Keep a 3-foot clearance around heaters to assure nothing will catch fire. Turn off and allow enough cooling time before moving a portable heater Never place a heater too close to furniture, curtains and cushions and be sure to place it where it will not be bumped or tripped over. Affixing a heater to the wall or floor will provide additional safety. Most fires caused by portable heaters start when the heater is placed too close to furniture or other combustible materials.
Use a proper candle holder and make sure the candle fits firmly inside it. Never leave candles unattended or go to sleep while they are lit Although popular and romantic, candles may be dangerous due to naked flames that can cause a fire if you are not careful. Do not place candles near open windows or where they are exposed to drafts. Leave enough space above and around the candle to minimize the potential of fire even if it falls. Keep candles away from curtains, furniture, and anything else that can catch fire.
Check the label to see when your upholstered furniture was manufactured. However, be careful even with modern furniture By law, modern upholstered furniture must be resistant to ignition from burning cigarettes and matches and, therefore, are safer. If it was manufactured before 1988, it is not fire-resistant and can catch fire and release poisonous smoke.