Fireplace and Space Heater Safety Tips
As we enjoy cooler evenings you may be relying on your fireplace or a space heater for warmth in your home. Because too often this time of year we hear sirens of fire trucks rushing to a house fire caused by unsafe heating conditions, we wanted to share some important safety tips with you.
- Your chimney or wood stove should be inspected and cleaned annually by a certified chimney specialist.
- Keep the area around your fireplace clear of flammable materials. This is especially important to remember during the holidays when you are decorating your home.
- The type of wood you burn matters. You should use only seasoned hardwood, because it burns cleaner and reduces the creosote buildup.
- Never leave a fire unattended. If you are leaving or going to bed, extinguish the fire.
- Keep your roof clean and trim back any low-hanging branches.
- Make sure you have a working smoke detector on every floor of your home. Check them monthly and change the batteries once a year.
- For electrical heaters, check the cord. Look for any wear or damage. Do not use a heater with a worn or damaged cord.
- Keep all flammable materials at least three feet away from the heater. This includes curtains and bedding.
- Occasionally check the plug. If the plug feels hot, it could a sign of faulty wiring. If you have a hot plug, contact a qualified technician.
- If you use a fuel-filled heater, use only the recommended fuel. And when refueling, make sure the heater is off and has cooled off completely.