Now that the holiday season has passed and most families are sticking close to home for the remaining weeks of the winter – this is a good time of year to be mindful of your heating system.
Unfortunately, half of all house fires caused by heating equipment are reported during December, January and February.
Thankfully, there are plenty of things that homeowners can do to prevent these dangers fires from occur. The fact is, heating equipment is the leading cause of home fire deaths so, there is a real motivation to try and prevent these disasters.
Heating equipment comes in all shapes and sizes and, during a severe winter like the one we have been having, many households will use more than one heating source.
Whether you have a fireplace or an electric heater – there are things that you can do to make sure you and your family are kept safe … and warm:
- Keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from heating equipment, like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove, or portable space heater. This includes curtains, blankets, pillows, and anything else that could be flammable.
- Have a three-foot “kid-free zone” around open fires and space heaters. Even if you have a cover or grate over your fireplace, it is important to make sure that your kids know to stay far away from the entire thing.
- 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 the local codes and manufacturer’s instructions.
- Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional.
- Remember to turn portable heaters off 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 away from your home.
- Test smoke alarms at least once a month.
Make sure that your family and your home are kept safe by following these tips for heating equipment safety.