Heating Your Home Safely

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Knoxville (WVLT) - It's going to continue to feel like Fall, and you'll probably turn on heat this week, but you should take some precautions before you do.

Volunteer TV's Liz Tedone has the details.

This is National Fire Prevention Week and a good time for all of us to be reminded of safety measures because 80 percent of all fire deaths happen in the home.

If you're turning your heat on for the first time this week, you may smell a faint odor of smoke.

"And that is certainly normal, a lot of dust collects on the elements and when we turn them on for the first time in the Fall, the dust actually burns away," firefighter Brent Seymour said.

If your house fills with smoke because of dust burnoff, the Knoxville Fire Department can come to your home and blow out the smoke. The Knoxville Fire Department recommends that if you have a gas furnace, it should be inspected once a year for proper ventilation. Your chimney needs to be cleaned or inspected every other year.
Air ducts throughout your homes should be blown out every couple of years. Remember to move items away from all space heaters and change all batteries in your smoke alarms twice a year.

The National Fire Protection Association is now referring to smoke detectors as smoke alarms to put more emphasis on an emergency.

"Where people have actually instead of evacuating the house, they went to investigate why the smoke alarm is going off and it has ended up costing lives," Seymour said.

Most important, you must have a family fire escape plan and at least two ways out of every room.

Firefighters recommend putting a rope ladder in every room on the second floor. They hook over the window sill and deploys down to the ground. You can find them at Home Depot, Lowe's or online. They range in price from 80 dollars to 150 depending on the length and materials. They are user friendly so even young children can operate them.

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