According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), about half of the reported home heating fires occur during the winter months. This is no surprise, considering that we use heating equipment to heat our homes when temperatures drop. Check out the tips below to avoid heating equipment fires in your home.
Keep Your Home Safe With These Heating Tips
- Keep flammable materials at least three feet away from heating equipment, such as space heaters, wood stoves, furnaces, and fireplaces.
- If you use fireplaces or portable heaters, establish a three-foot safety zone around them. Don’t allow children and pets to enter this zone.
- Never use an oven or gas-powered camping burner to heat 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.
- 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.
- Make sure the smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in your home are working well. Test the alarms monthly and replace batteries twice a year.
- Keep a multipurpose fire extinguisher close to an exit on every level of the home.
- If you smell gas from 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.