Winter Heating Safety Tips

02.17.21

Everyone enjoys being toasty during the winter, but home fires occur more in the winter months than any other time of the year. With a little forethought, you can enjoy a blazing fire or toasty space heater without risking a housefire or other heat-related accidents. Just follow these tips!

GENERAL

  • Keep flammable objects and materials a minimum of three feet away from heat sources such as fireplaces, furnaces, wood stoves, and space heaters.
  • Kitchen ovens are not designed for heating homes. Don’t try to heat your home using your oven or stovetop.
  • Once a month, test your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. Smoke alarms should also use a backup battery so that the alarm still functions if your power goes out. Change your backup battery once a year.
  • Keep kids safe from space heaters, wood stoves, kerosene heaters, and fireplaces. Teach your kids the possible dangers of being burned and that things that get hot to the touch are only to be approached with adult supervision.
  • Have a qualified professional install stationary central and space heating equipment, water heaters, etc., to meet the manufacturer’s instructions and local codes.

 

SPACE HEATERS

  • Never leave space heaters unattended; this includes keeping them plugged in while you are sleeping.
  • Don’t use a power strip or extension cord with a space heater. Space heaters should always be plugged directly into a wall.
  • Check for damaged cords and plugs on your space heater. If there is any damage, do not use your space heater.
  • Make sure your space heater has an automatic shut-off so that if it tips over, it turns off.
  • Place space heaters on a solid, stable, flat surface at least 3 feet away from all other objects and materials.
  • Turn portable space heaters off when you leave the room or go to bed.

 

FIREPLACES

  • Use a sturdy glass or metal screen on your fireplace to prevent sparks from flying into the room.
  • Do not leave an unattended fire in your fireplace, and be sure to put the fire completely out before you go to bed or leave your home.
  • Do not burn paper in your fireplace.
  • Have a professional inspect and clean your chimney every year.
  • Once ashes have cooled in your fireplace, put them in a metal container with a lid. Then, place the container at least 10 feet from your home in a place clear of debris and other flammable materials.
  • Make sure fireplace remote controls and ‘on’ switches are out of the reach of children.

 

WOOD STOVES

  • Make sure your wood stove is 3 feet from anything flammable.
  • Do not burn paper on your wood stove.
  • Keep wood stove doors closed unless loading or stoking the fire.
  • Put the fire out before you go to sleep or leave your home, and do not leave the fire unattended.
  • Have a professional inspect and clean your chimney every year.

 

KEROSENE HEATERS

  • Read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully and always use the right kind of fuel in your heater.
  • Never refuel your heater inside. Once it has cooled, take the heater outside to refuel.

If you have questions about any of the above, or if you are concerned about your own heating setup’s safety, please give us a call! 770.813.1316