Home Heating Safety Tips
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), half of the reported home heating fires occur during the winter months. This is no surprise, considering that we use heating equipment to heat up our homes when temperatures drop. Follow these tips to avoid heating equipment fires in your home:
- Keep flammable materials at least three feet away from heating equipment, such as wood stoves, furnaces, and fireplaces.
- If you use fireplaces or portable heaters, establish a three-foot zone around them. Don’t allow children and pets to enter this zone.
- Never use an oven or gas-powered camping burner to heat up your home. This might result in carbon monoxide (CO) build-up.
- Have a trained technician install central heating equipment, stationary space heating equipment or water heaters according to local codes and manufacturer’s instructions.
- Have your heating equipment and chimneys inspected and cleaned by a professional every year.
- Turn portable heaters off when going to bed or leaving the room. Learn more portable electric heater safety rules here.
- If you have a fuel-burning space heater, use only the type of fuel specified by the manufacturer.
- Have a mesh metal screen or fire screen installed to prevent embers from shooting out of your fireplace onto flammable material like carpets. Let ashes cool off before disposing of them. Put ashes in a metal container with a tight lid and store it outside the house. Check out more fireplace safety tips here.
- Make sure the smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in your home are working well. Test the alarms monthly and replace batteries twice a year. To learn more about preventing carbon monoxide poisoning in your home, check out this article. Find out more about testing and replacing your smoke alarms here.
- Keep a multipurpose fire extinguisher close to an exit on every level of the home. Learn how to use fire extinguishers safely in this article.
- If you smell gas in your gas heater, exit the home immediately and call your local fire department or gas company.
- Create a fire escape plan and practice it with everyone in the household. Establish all possible exits and escape routes in your home.
Water damage is another concern during the cold winter months. Learn tips to prevent winter water damage in your home here. For water removal service or fire damage restoration, contact your local PuroClean office.