The winter season is in full swing—the days are shorter and the temperature is lower. No matter where you live, winter brings a change in the weather. In an effort to keep our homes and workplaces cozy, many people use alternative heat sources like fireplaces, portable space heaters and wood burning stoves. Heating is the second leading cause of home fire deaths, making it important to review ways to help reduce the risk of a heating-related fire.
- Maintain heating equipment and chimneys by having them cleaned and inspected annually by a qualified professional.
- Use heating equipment that has the label of a recognized testing laboratory.
- All heaters need space. Keep flammable objects at least three feet away from heating equipment.
- Plug space heaters directly into outlets, never into an extension cord or power strip.
- When using fuel-burning heaters, use only the type of fuel specified by the manufacturer.
- Install and maintain carbon monoxide and smoke alarms inside your home and business. Test alarms monthly.
- Remember to turn portable heaters off before leaving the room or going to bed.
- When using a wood-burning fireplace, make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to help prevent sparks from flying into the room. Spent fireplace ashes should be cool before removing and putting them into a metal container. The container should be stored away from your home or business.
Safety tips provided by National Fire Prevention Association