How to heat your home safely

No matter how you choose to heat your home during winter, a heating source can become a fire hazard if it’s not properly maintained. Here are reminders to help keep your home warm and safe:

Wood-burning stove or
pellet stove
•  Leave the proper clearance around the stove. Brick, stone, and metal can get hot enough to ignite nearby combustible materials.
•  Keep curtains, clothing, furniture, paper, and kindling away from the stove.
•  Check the walls near the stove — they shouldn’t feel uncomfortably warm.
•  Clean the stove regularly. Creosote is a flammable coating that can build up on stove pipes and chimneys, and must be removed.
•  Never start a stove fire with gasoline, kerosene, or starter fluid. These substances could cause an explosion.


•  Clean out your chimney regularly, especially if you use your fireplace often or burn green wood — this can lead to an increased buildup of creosote.
•  Have your chimney checked for cracks, loose bricks, or unused flue openings that are improperly sealed.
•  Avoid large fires of paper or trash, which send dangerous flames and sparks up your chimney, and use a fireplace screen to prevent sparks from escaping.
•  Have a professional inspect your gas fireplace, including cleaning the logs and checking the fan and vents.

Space heater

•  Stand the heater on a level surface, and keep it at least three feet away from any combustible materials.
•  Plug the heater into an outlet, not an extension cord.
•  Turn off the space heater when you leave the room and while you sleep.
•  Don’t use a space heater to dry wet clothing or to warm bedding.
•  Replace, don’t patch, damaged or frayed electrical cords.

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