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Home Heating Safety And You

Home Heating Safety and You

In our efforts to stay warm this winter, it's important to remember that heating equipment is the number one cause of home fires in the United States. To ensure your safety, you should follow these fire safety tips provided by the National Fire Protection Association:

  • If you have a fireplace, make sure you have your chimney inspected by a professional every winter and cleaned if necessary. A chemical substance called Creosote forms when wood burns and can build up in a chimney and cause a fire if not properly cleaned.
  • Protect your home and family by always using a sturdy screen when burning wood.
  • Remember to burn wood only. Never burn paper or pine boughs because they can float out of the chimney and ignite your roof or that of a neighboring house.
  • If you purchase a factory-built fireplace, select one listed by an independent testing laboratory.
  • If you own a wood stove, be sure to inspect chimney connections and chimney flues at the beginning of each heating season. They should also be cleaned periodically.
  • Follow the same safety rules for wood stoves as you would for space heaters. Burn wood only and be sure the wood stove is placed on an approved stove board to protect your floor from heat and hot coals. Be sure to check with your local fire department and check local codes before having your wood stove installed.
  • Remember: SAFETY should be your first consideration when heating your home.

When using gas:

  • Make sure the appliances are approved.
  • Keep them maintained by a qualified technician.
  • Make sure that the flame is burning a bright blue and not a dull yellow or orange.
  • You shouldn't use your phone or turn on your light if you smell gas.
  • Leave the house and call your fire department and gas company.
  • Buy a good co2 detector and use it

Additional safety tips:

  • Keep all gas appliances clean and properly vented.
  • Never cover fresh air vents that supply air to your appliances.
  • Do not store any flammable materials in or near the gas appliances. (Especially, do not use the oven as a storage area for anything.) 
  • Never use your oven or stove top to heat your apartment or dry your clothes.
  • Keep the area around your furnace and water heater clear. Never leave any food unattended while it is cooking.

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