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Home heating safety

The average highs and overnight lows continue to drop as we approach the end of of November heading towards December. This means more people will be finding ways to crank up the heat in their homes to stay warm. When this happens, an increase in house fires occur.

As early as Tuesday afternoon, a cold front will bring winds from the northwest back to Mid-Missouri. This will lead to a dramatic cool down from the upper 60s Tuesday afternoon to the lower 20s Wednesday morning.

When your furnace or other means of sourcing heat begins to increase its workload, a lot of the heat is trapped towards the attic or ceiling in homes. This is due to heat rising while cooler air sinks.

A way to help disperse this heat that is safe and cost effective is to turn on ceiling fans that have the option to rotate clock-wise. This will force the warmer air trapped at the top of the home to be pulled back down towards the floor. This evens out the temperature differences allowing the house occupants to feel warmer without having to rely on the heating source to work as hard.

Due to the increase in household fires during the winter time, it is important to test and check on smoke detectors monthly to provide yourself a heads up during the worst case scenario.

Another precautionary measure in ensuring safety is to have proper fireplace awareness. residents should make sure to have professionals inspect the chimney for concerns of material build-up which can lead to a fire on the homes structure. It is also important to make sure materials being burned to not have any contact with any unsafe fuels or chemicals since this air will be circulated throughout the household.

When using space heaters in homes, residents should only leave them on when in the room and there is a safe buffer area between it and other flammable objects. Make sure to plug space heaters directly into the wall outlet without using a power strip as power strips are not made to handle higher power outputs that are needed for heaters.

Article Topic Follows: Weather
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Chance Gotsch

Chance Gotsch grew up just south of St. Louis and moved to Columbia to attend the University of Missouri to pursue a degree in Atmospheric Sciences.

His interest in weather begin as a child when he used to be afraid of storms.

Chance joined the ABC 17 Stormtrack Weather Team in February 2021. He is currently the weekday noon meteorologist.


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