5 Winter Home Heating Safety Tips
1. Be Aware of Flammable Materials
Keep anything that burns easily at least three feet away from fireplaces, wood stoves, furnaces and space heaters. Fires often spread past its origin point because the heat source was too close to something flammable. Make sure nothing is close to your heat sources to prevent a fire from spreading.
2. Service Your Heating System Annually
Hiring a professional to inspect and clean your heating system and chimneys can help ensure your safety. These checks should be done annually. You should also be active in checking the areas around the furnace and boiler.
3. Don’t Leave Space Heaters Unattended
25,000 house fires and more than 300 deaths are caused each year by space heaters. Never keep space heaters on when no one is around or while you are sleeping. Space heaters should be plugged directly into a wall, as extension cords or power strips can overheat and cause a fire.
4. Test Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors Monthly
According to a study by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the first month of the year is the worst for carbon monoxide poisoning. House fires are also common after the holidays. It’s extremely important to regularly check that all your detectors have working batteries.
5. Fireplace Safety
Keep a screen over your fireplace to stop sparks from flying out. Let fire ashes cool before putting them into any covered, metal container. Also, ashes should never be kept in plastic containers. Keep all containers of ashes a safe distance away from your home.