There is something about the winter months and curling up with a good book by the fireplace. But did you know that heating equipment is one of the leading causes of home fire deaths? With a few simple safety tips and precautions you can prevent most heating fires from happening.
Be warm and safe this winter!
- Keep anything that can burn at least three-feet (one metre) away from heating equipment, like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove, or portable space heater.
- Have a three-foot (one metre) “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 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.
If you are using a space heater, follow these tips:
- Make sure it has the label showing that it is listed by a recognized testing laboratory.
- Read the manufacturer’s instructions and warning labels carefully.
- Inspect it cracked or broken plugs or loose connections before each use. If frayed, worn or damaged, do not use the heater.
- Never leave a space heater unattended. Turn it off when you’re leaving a room or going to sleep.
- Never use them to warm bedding, cook food, dry clothing or thaw pipes, they are only meant to provide supplemental heat.
- Always use the right kind of fuel, specified by the manufacturer, for fuel-burning space heaters.
- Do not place them in high traffic areas and doorways where they may pose a tripping hazard.
- Plug them directly into a nearby wall outlet. Do not use an extension cord or power strip, which could overheat and result in a fire.
- Do not plug any other electrical devices into the same outlet as the heater.
- Only use them on level, flat floor. Never place heaters on cabinets, tables, furniture, or carpet, which can overheat and start a fire.