There is something about the winter months and curling up with a good book by the fireplace. But did you know that heating equipment is one of the leading causes of home fire deaths? That’s why we made this little segment on indoor heating safety! With a few simple safety tips and precautions you can prevent most heating fires from happening. More cost-effective methods such as the use of wood burning stoves, space heaters, and fireplaces may be the right choice for you and your family. However, they are a major contributing factor in residential fires with half of home heating fires are reported during the months of December, January, and February. These safety tips from Clackamas Fire can help you create a fire safe home this winter:

Indoor Heating Safety Tips

Indoor Heating Safety

  • Keep anything that can burn 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 annually, especially if it has not been used for some time, and always by a qualified professional.
  • Keep a glass or metal screen in front of the fireplace opening to prevent embers or sparks from jumping out, unwanted material from going in, and help prevent the possibility of burns to occupants.
  • 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.
  • Do not use flammable liquids to start or accelerate any fire.
  • Before you go to sleep, be sure your fireplace fire is out. Never close your damper with hot ashes in the fireplace. A closed damper will help the fire to heat up again and will force toxic carbon monoxide into the house.
  • Leave furnace repairs to qualified specialists. Do not attempt repairs yourself unless you are qualified.
  • Keep trash and other combustibles away from the heating system.
  • Test smoke alarms monthly.

Heating Equipment Smarts

Install wood burning stoves following manufacturer’s instructions or have a professional do the installation. All fuel-burning equipment should be vented to the outside to avoid carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning.

If you have anymore questions about indoor heating safety please contact Clackamas Fire District #1 at (503) 742-2600.