According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), heating equipment is one of the leading causes of home fire deaths. Half of home heating fires are reported during the months of December, January, and February.
Here are some tips from the NFPA to be warm and safe this winter.
- Keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from heating equipment like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove, or portable space heater.
- Have a three foot “kid-free zone” around open fires and space heaters.
- Never use your oven to heat your home.
- Have a qualified professional install stationary space heating equipment, water heaters, or central heating equipment according to local codes and manufacturer’s instructions.
- Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional.
- Remember to turn off portable heaters when leaving the room or going to bed.
- Always use the right kind of fuel, specified by the manufacturer, for fuel burning space heaters.
- Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room. Ashes should be cool before putting them in a metal container. Keep the container a safe distance from your home.
- Test smoke alarms at least once a month.