Home Heating Safety
Download Home Heating Safety Tips
Using your fireplace, wood stove or other fuel-fired devices can be a great way to provide heat and comfort during the cold winter months. Before you use your device, it is important to follow a few basic safety steps to avoid a dangerous situation.
As stated by the National Fire Protection Association, the second leading cause of all home fires was heating
equipment (14%), and failure to properly clean such heating equipment was the leading factor.1 Starting a fire of any type demands respect; however a few simple steps can greatly reduce the risks so you can safely enjoy your fire.
Before you start the first fire of the year
- Install or test your smoke and carbon monoxide
detectors. It is also a good idea to have extra
batteries on hand for each.
- Have an expert inspect your chimney to make sure
there isn't buildup that would block smoke such as
leaves, dirt or creosote (a highly flammable buildup
from incomplete burning of wood and coal).
Installing a cap on your chimney can help keep
materials out during the off season.
- Have a fire extinguisher nearby that is charged and
- Create a plan for your family in case of a fire.
- Clean your chimney and move any items away from
the fire area.
- Talk to your children and make sure they understand
that fires can be dangerous.
Now that everything is clean and prepared
- Keep the glass doors open and use a metal grate
while the fire is burning to avoid sparks.
- Make sure that the flume (opening to the outside)
on your chimney is open.
- Only use fireplace tools to tend to the fire.
- Never leave the fire unattended.
- Never burn garbage, plastics or glass, and don’t use
gas or lighter fluid to start your fire.
- Use seasoned firewood or store bought logs and
place logs at the rear of the device on an
- When finished, make sure the fire is completely
out and cooled. Dispose of cooled ashes in a metal
container at least 10 feet from your home or other
1 National Fire Protection Association. U.S. Home Heating Equipment Fires Fact Sheet