Heating equipment is the leading cause of home fire deaths.

WFPD and The National Fire Protection Association recommend following these general home heating safety tips:

  • Keep anything that can burn (including papers, rugs, and curtains) 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 the local codes and manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional.
  • 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.
  • Install smoke alarms on every floor of your home and outside all sleeping areas and test them once a month.

If you are using a space heater make sure to follow these tips:

  • Make sure your space heater has the label showing that it is listed by a recognized testing laboratory.
  • Before using any space heater, read the manufacturer’s instructions and warning labels carefully.
  • Inspect heaters for 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.
  • Space heaters are only meant to provide supplemental heat and should never be used to warm bedding, cook food, dry clothing or thaw pipes.
  • Always use the right kind of fuel, specified by the manufacturer, for fuel burning space heaters.
  • Do not place space heaters in high traffic areas and doorways where they may pose a tripping hazard.
  • Plug space heaters 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.
  • Place space heaters on level, flat surfaces. Never place heaters on cabinets, tables, furniture, or carpet, which can overheat and start a fire.
Additional Resources:

NFPA Heating Safety Tips

U.S. Fire Administration Heating Safety Tips

Categories: Safety Tips