On Monday, some areas of the country that usually have warm weather were experiencing unusually cold weather this week: in El Paso, it was 250F (-1.600C); in Los Angeles, it was 350F (1.60C); and in Phoenix, it was 250F (-3.80C). Homes in these areas may not have central heating, so people may rely on space heaters or other ways to warm their homes.Some important safety messages to share with those using space heaters include following: • Keep heaters at least 3 feet ( 1 meter) away from anything that can burn • Use heating equipment that has a label of a recognized testing laboratory. • Never use your stove or oven to heat you home. They are not designed for that purpose. • Have a 3-foot (1-meter) “kid-free zone” around a heater or open fire. Teach them to stay away from heaters and other hot things.
You can download a free heating safety free tip sheet with more messages as well as a free copy of the NFPA’s Learn Not to Burn Preschool Program “Stay Away from Hot Things” lesson plan for preschool age children and kindergarteners. The program includes many activities and the lively “Don’t Touch Hot Things songs” by Jim Post. You can also download a free “Stay Away from Hot Things” lesson plan for children in the first grade.For a comprehensive program on staying safe this winter, you can access the United States Fire Administration and NFPA’s “Put a Freeze on Winter Fires” campaign program materials.