Home Winter Heating Safety

 Exercise Caution Around Space Heaters

The cold winter months have arrived in Illinois and that means many residents will be turning up the thermostat. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) half of home heating fires are reported during the months of December, January and February. Heating equipment is involved in one in every seven home fires and one in every five home fire deaths.  A few simple steps and precautions can help prevent most heating fires from happening. 

  • Keep anything that can bur at least three-feet away from heating equipment, like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove or portable heater. 
  • Create 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 chimney cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional. 
  • Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed. 
  • Always use the right kind of fuel, specified by the manufacturer, for fuel burning space heaters.
  • 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. 
  • Test smoke and CO alarms at least once a month. 
  • Keep portable generators outside, away from windows, and as far away from your home as possible. 
  • Plug only one heat-producing appliance into an electrical outlet at a time.