11 Safety Tips to Follow When Turning on Your Heat This Winter

November 16, 2016

As the temperatures finally start to fall, most of us will begin running the heat at home.  Now is a good time to prepare your home heating system for increased use in the upcoming months.

You may use a traditional heating system, like a furnace or boiler, to heat your home.  Or you may use an alternative heating source like a pellet/wood stove, a fireplace, or a space heater.  Either way, there are some general steps you can take to protect your home from fire.

          Follow these seven heating safety tips from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA):

  1. Keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from heaters.
    • Create a "kid-free zone" at least three-feet around heating equipment.
  2. Do not use an oven to heat your home.
  3. Make sure your fireplace is covered with a sturdy, nonflammable screen to keep sparks from flying out.
  4. Learn best practices with wood stoves and pellet stove.
    • Burn only dry, seasoned wood in wood stoves and wood pellets in pellet stoves.
    • Allow ashes to cool before disposing of them.  Place in a covered metal container and keep it at least ten feet away from any structure.
  5. Keep up regular maintenance routines on your heating system.
    • Have your heating equipment professionally inspected and cleaned at least once a year.
  6. Test your smoke alarms regularly, at least once a month.  Place alarms on every level of your home, outside each separate sleeping area, and inside each bedroom.
  7. Install and maintain carbon monoxide alarms outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home.
    • The NFPA recommends interconnecting your smoke alarms as well as your carbon monoxide alarms.  If one alarm is triggered, the others will be set off too.

    Additional home heating safety tips include:

  8. Do not install a wood stove, or other solid fuel stove, in a structure where flammable vapors could be present.  For example, do not use a wood stove in a garage, where fuel vapors could be lingering.
  9. Take extra care when using a space heater.
    • Place on a level, nonflammable surface away from all combustible material.
    • Do not leave one unattended.  Always turn the heater off when leaving the area.
  10. Test your heating system ahead of regular use to check for necessary repairs.
  11. Make sure you have adequate insurance coverage before an accident could occur.  Contact your agent for more information.

Heating fires are a leading cause of home fires.  Half of home heating equipment fires are reported during December, January, and February, according to the NFPA.  Help reduce your chance of a home heating equipment fire by taking precautions.


Resources

http://www.nfpa.org/public-education/by-topic/top-causes-of-fire/heating/heating-safety-tips

http://www.nfpa.org/~/media/files/public-education/resources/safety-tip-sheets/woodpelletstovesafety.pdf?la=en


This blog entry is created for informational purposes only.  Any viewpoint or sponsorship of outside parties involved in the blog entry does not necessarily represent Goodville's stance as a company.  The blog should not be used as a substitute for professional advice.