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DUKE POWER REMINDS CUSTOMERS TO USE FIREPLACES SAFELY

 CHARLOTTE, N.C., Nov. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Thousands of homes in the Carolinas will be brightened by a crackling fire this winter. While fireplaces bring warmth and pleasure to many homeowners in the area, if used improperly they can pose serious health and safety risks.
 Duke Power experts in building science and indoor air quality offer advice on the safe and energy efficient operation of wood burning fireplaces.
 "Proper fireplace ventilation has become increasingly important during the past several years as new building codes require that homes be more tightly sealed," said Dave Wadsworth, Duke Power's heating and cooling program manager.
 Although a properly sealed home and duct system improves energy efficiency and prevents outdoor pollutants from entering the home, the potential for negative pressure in the home is increased.
 "Kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans, clothes dryers and other home ventilation systems can contribute to decreased pressure inside the house and can cause fireplaces to draw air from the chimney into the home," said Wadsworth.
 The primary hazard associated with chimney backdrafts is the infiltration of carbon monoxide gas into the home. The gas, which has no smell or color, is difficult to detect but can cause serious health risks if levels become escalated in a confined area.
 To protect the home and family from these hazards, remember the following fireplace safety tips:
 -- Always remember to open the damper before lighting a fire.
 -- Keep doors and heating vents open throughout the house to help
 balance the home's pressure and circulate air.
 -- Crack a window in the room where the fire is burning to increase
 ventilation and minimize depressurizing the house.
 -- Avoid using multiple exhaust systems in the house simultaneously.
 -- Make sure the combustion air intake vent located inside most
 fireplaces in newly constructed homes is operating properly.
 -- Never leave a fire unattended.
 -- If you have tight fitting fireplace doors, close them when the
 fire is in the smoldering stage.
 -- After the fire has COMPLETELY extinguished itself -- close the
 damper to avoid home heat loss through the chimney for increased
 energy efficiency.
 -0- 11/10/93
 /CONTACT: Marianna Mason of Duke Power, 704-382-8374 or (24-hour) 704-594-0681/
 (DUK)


CO: Duke Power Co. ST: North Carolina IN: UTI SU:

CM -- CH001 -- 2580 11/10/93 08:30 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 10, 1993
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