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Georgia consumer: Be careful with portable heaters
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Rick Foote, Hall County’s natural resources coordinator, talks about recycling boxes in the county.

Portable heaters can be dangerous when used improperly. Here are some safety items you need to remember:

Portable heaters are only allowed in one- or two-family dwellings.

Never leave a kerosene heater unattended while in use.

Never operate a kerosene heater in a room without proper ventilation.

Never use gasoline or any other fuel in a heater designed for kerosene. This could cause the fuel to boil over and out of the tank and create a major fire.

Never store fuel inside your home. Always refill heaters outside, wiping up any spills.

Never place any portable heater close to combustibles such as furniture, walls, drapes, etc. Check owner’s manual for proper clearance instructions.

Never leave electric heaters plugged in when not in use. Check and make sure that the portable heater that you purchase is listed by an approved testing laboratory such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL).

Question: What is a wood infestation report and what should it cover?

Answer: Most new homeowners will receive an official Georgia wood infestation inspection report at closing. This report is a statement as to what is found at the time of inspection as far as infestation, active or previous, and conditions conducive to the infestation of the covered organisms. The covered organisms are subterranean termites, dry wood termites, powder post beetles, wood boring beetles and wood decay fungi. The report includes a guarantee that if infestation is found during the 90 day coverage period, the property will receive a treatment, consistent with the standards of the rules of the Georgia Structural Pest Control Act. Neither the guarantee nor the report covers the disclosure or repair of any damage caused by the covered organisms.

The report contains a treatment section where the issuing company will disclose if they have treated the home and if the home is under a treatment contract with the issuing company. If the home is under a treatment guarantee, it may be advisable to continue coverage with the company.

If the home is not under a guarantee, it is advisable to have your home annually inspected and protected with a professional pest management company.

If you have questions or problems with services or products regulated by the Georgia Department of Agriculture you may write the Office of Public Affairs, 19 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, Room 226, Atlanta, GA 30334 or call (800) 282-5852. This column appears Sundays.