Stay Warm and Safe this Winter
As the temperature outside continues to drop, families take to the indoors to keep warm. This is the time to think about heating equipment safety. Did you know that heating equipment is the second leading cause of home fires? Make sure you're ready for the winter and keep your home and family safe by following these safety tips:
- Have a professional clean and inspect heating equipment and chimneys every year.
- A professional will check that all furnace controls and emergency shutoffs are in proper working condition, flue pipe and seams are free of holes and cracks, and chimneys are in good condition.
Keep a safe distance
- Keep anything that can burn at least 3 feet away from heating equipment like furnaces, fireplaces, and space heaters.
- Never store garbage or other flammables near the furnace or other heating equipment.
- Choose a portable heater that automatically turns off when tipped over.
- Turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.
- Always use the manufacturer's specified fuel for fuel-burning space heaters. Make sure to have proper room venting.
- Plug portable heaters directly into the outlet - don't use an extension cord or power strip.
- Never go to sleep without being sure your fireplace fire is out. Never close your damper with hot ashes in the fireplace.
- Never use the oven to heat your home.
- Install and test regularly smoke alarms on every floor of your home, outside sleeping areas, and inside bedrooms.
- Install and test regularly carbon monoxide alarms on every floor of your home.
- Plan and practice an escape plan with your family.
For more information about Home Heating Safety, visit nfpa.org