In this article:
- How to Use Electric Heaters Safely
- Practice Proper Fireplace Maintenance
- General Fire Safety Tips
- For All Your Home Fire Damage Needs Call PuroClean
As temperatures outside drop, many of us turn to heat equipment like space heaters, traditional fireplaces, and electric fireplaces indoors. While these appliances are convenient and provide a comfortable environment, it’s important to be aware of their potential fire hazards.
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), heating equipment is a leading factor contributing to home fires in the U.S. Home heating fire deaths can be preventable when the proper measures are taken. Read further to learn how to stay warm this winter without compromising safety.
How to Use Electric Heaters Safely
- Avoid placing heating equipment near flammable materials. Position them at a safe distance from curtains, furniture, rugs, upholstered furniture, and clothes. Keep a three-foot safety clearance around your electric heater and fireplace to prevent potential fire hazards. Don’t put heaters near water or operate one if you are wet.
- Use heaters that have been approved by reputable testing agencies. Always purchase electric heaters approved by a nationally recognized testing laboratory such as UL. Check for defects or damage before using them, and never use a damaged or faulty appliance.
- Unplug electric heaters when they’re not in use. Do not leave them on when you leave the room or go to sleep; doing so reduces the fire risk and saves energy.
- Never dry wet or damp fabrics or clothes on an electric heater.
- Don’t place heaters in the vicinity of children or pets. Don’t allow children to adjust the settings or move electric heaters.
- Plug electric space heaters directly into wall outlets. If you must use an extension cord or power strip, make sure it is of the heavy-duty variety to avoid a potentially hazardous issue. If your heater’s plug has a grounding prong, select one with three prongs.
- A portable space heater should only be used temporarily to heat your home, not in place of your central heating equipment. Turn portable heaters off when not in use, and store them in safe spots away from flammable objects.
Practice Proper Fireplace Maintenance
- Regularly clean your fireplace to remove ash, debris, and creosote build-up. If not thoroughly cleaned, creosote can build up in your chimney and cause a fire. Get your chimneys cleaned once a year by a qualified professional.
- Install smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. Fuel-burning space heaters and other heating equipment that burns gas can cause carbon monoxide poisoning, so alarms can alert you if something is amiss. Make sure to test them regularly and replace the batteries annually.
- Use a fireplace screen. A metal container like a fireplace screen helps to prevent sparks and embers from jumping out of the fireplace and onto your floor. Burn dry, seasoned wood in wood stoves when starting a fire. Wet or unseasoned wood can produce more smoke and creosote, increasing the risk of chimney fires. The wood should be cut at the correct length. In pellet stoves, burn dry, seasoned pellets. The wood should be cut at the correct length.
- Always use fireplace tools to control the fire. This includes a poker, shovel, broom, and tongs. These tools are essential for safely starting, maintaining, and putting out a fire. Be mindful of open fires and take necessary precautions, such as keeping a fire extinguisher nearby and never leaving one unattended.
- If you have an electric fireplace, ensure it is correctly installed according to the manufacturer’s instructions and in accordance with local codes.
General Fire Safety Tips
- Supervise children and pets when they’re in the presence of a heating device.
- Always monitor heating equipment when it’s running/burning.
- Store a fire extinguisher nearby in the event of an emergency.
- Install carbon dioxide and smoke detectors on every floor of your home and test them often.
By adhering to these straightforward heater safety tips backed by the National Fire Protection Association, you can protect your home and family from potential hazards, all while savoring the coziness of shared warmth with your loved ones.
For All Your Home Fire Damage Needs, Call PuroClean
Emergency services and the fire department are not enough in case of a house fire. You may need an experienced and qualified professional to help restore your property. PuroClean is here for that purpose: we specialize in damage restoration from disasters like fires caused by heat equipment. Call PuroClean Emergency Services of Dayton, Ohio at 937-401-9700 or Cincinnati, Ohio at 513-897-8990 or visit our website.