Winter has arrived and many of us are finding ourselves wanting to cozy up inside and avoid the cold. However, your heat source may be posing some serious health and safety issues. According to the National Fire Prevention Association, half of all heating-related residential fires occur in December, January, and February. This is largely due to the improper use of space heaters and other heat sources. Space heaters include kerosene heaters, electric or gas heaters, fireplace inserts, wood-burning stoves, and furnaces. These heat sources account for a third of home heating fires. The Air Doctor values its customers and their safety. Below are important space heater safety tips as well as tips for other heating sources.
- Keep fabric, paper, clothing, curtains, bedding, and other flammable items at least 3 feet away from space heaters and other heat sources.
- Never leave space heaters and fireplaces unattended while in use.
- Make sure to unplug space heaters and extinguish fires when you are done with them.
- Keep pets and children away from space heaters and fireplaces.
- Make sure your space heater is sitting on a level, hard, nonflammable surface.
- Hire a professional to maintain and clean heating equipment and chimneys once a year.
- Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors monthly.
- Do not use your stove or oven to heat your home.
- Make sure your heater has an automatic shut-off function and shuts off when it is tipped over.
- Plug heaters directly into a wall outlet. Do not use extension cords.
- Develop and practice a fire escape plan with your family.
No matter what your source of heat is, make sure that you take the necessary steps to use the equipment safely. If you need help making sure your heating equipment is safe to use, call The Air Doctor and schedule your heating season maintenance today.
For more tips, make sure to check out the Customer Education section of our site.
National Fire Protection Agency