Heating Safety Tips

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Heating Safety

Heating equipment is a leading cause of home fire deaths. Almost half of home heating equipment fires are reported during the months of December, January, and February. Some simple steps can prevent most heating-related fires from happening.

Safety Tips

  • Keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from heating equipment, such as the furnace, fireplace, wood stove, or portable heater.

  • Only use heating equipment that has the label of a recognized testing laboratory.

  • Never use your oven for heating.

  • Have a qualified professional install stationary space heating equipment, water heaters or central heating equipment according to the local codes and manufacturer's instructions.

  • Maintain heating equipment and chimneys by having them cleaned and inspected annually by a qualified professional.

  • Turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.

  • For fuel burning space heaters, always use the proper fuel as specified by the manufacturer.

  • Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to prevent sparks from flying into the room and burn only dry, seasoned wood. Allow ashes to cool before disposing in a metal container, which is kept a safe distance from the home.

  • For wood burning stoves, install chimney connectors and chimneys following manufacturer's instructions or have a professional do the installation.

  • Make sure all fuel-burning equipment is vented to the outside to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.

  • Install and maintain carbon monoxide (CO) alarms to avoid the risk of CO poisoning.

  • If you smell gas in your gas heater, do not attempt to light the appliance. Turn off all the controls and open doors and windows. Call 911.

  • Test smoke alarms at least monthly.

For more safety tips, go to www.nfpa.org/education.