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Posted on: January 3, 2019

Winter Heating Safety Tips

wood stove

Is it just us, or has it been FREEZING the past few days??  However you heat your home, make sure to follow these tips to do so safely:

Portable Heaters:

  • Turn portable heaters OFF when you go to bed or leave the room.
  • Keep anything that can burn at LEAST 3 feet away from your space heater. This includes bedding, clothing, curtains, etc.
  • Plug portable heaters directly into wall outlets, NEVER into an extension cord or power strip.
  • Inspect and replace damaged cords, broken outlets, or loose connections.
  • Use portable heaters with an automatic shutoff so if they tip over they turn OFF.
  • Only use portable heaters approved by a recognized testing laboratory.

Fireplaces and Wood Stoves:

  • Keep anything that can burn at least 3 feet away from your fireplace or wood stove.
  • Have a 3-foot “kid-free zone” around fireplaces and wood stoves.
  • Have your chimney inspected and cleaned each year by a qualified professional.
  • Make sure your fireplace has a sturdy glass or metal screen to stop sparks from flying into the room.
  • Do not operate a wood stove with the door of the stove open.  Only open the wood stove door when starting the fire or adding wood.
  • Do not burn paper in your fireplace.
  • Put the fire out before you go to sleep or leave your home.
  • Ashes should be completely cool before emptying out the fireplace or wood stove and should be stored in a metal container with a lid.  Put this container outside, at least 3 feet from your home.
  • Burn dry, seasoned wood.
  • Do not burn paper in your fireplace.
  • Always keep oxygen tanks at least 5 feet away from a heat source or open flame.

Gas Furnaces:

  • Have your furnace inspected and tuned up annually by a qualified professional.
  • Test your carbon monoxide alarms. A carbon monoxide leak is one of the biggest safety concerns of a malfunctioning furnace.
  • Keep the area around your furnace clear, especially of flammable products or materials.
  • Change your furnace’s air filter when it’s dirty.  A dirty air filter restricts oxygen flow to your furnace, which can overwork your system and increase the risk of a carbon monoxide leak.
  • Check for drafts.  If your pilot light seems to go out often, make sure there aren’t any drafts preventing it from staying lit.
  • If you detect the smell of gas or suspect gas feed or valve issues, call a furnace professional!

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