Hamm advises consumers to check space heaters, fireplaces before using
Posted on 11/12/2008
BISMARCK, N.D.-As temperatures drop, North Dakota Insurance Commissioner Adam Hamm advises consumers to check the condition of heating appliances that have been stored since last winter.
"Appliances that were in storage during the summer should be checked out before they're turned on," Hamm said. "It's important to clean off any dust and make sure there aren't any frayed wires or cracked plugs."
Space heaters should be placed at least three feet away from flammable materials like bedding, curtains, furniture and rugs. Never leave space heaters unattended.
Hamm also advises consumers installing fireplaces and wood- or corn-fueled heating systems to talk to their insurance agents to make sure their policies provide adequate coverage. Additionally, chimneys and flues should be inspected annually for blockages and leaks.
Consumers can find a homeowners' winter checklist at the Insurance Department's website, www.nd.gov/ndins. For more information, call 1-800-247-0560.