Fireplace and Space Heater Safety Tips To Heat Your Home Safely
As we experience the coldest winter temperatures, many homeowners may use their fireplaces or space heaters for additional heating. At SERVPRO Gainesville/Alachua County West, we’ve seen firsthand the unfortunate effects of fire damage, and hope you will follow these fireplace and space heater safety tips to help keep your home and family safe from fire damage this winter.
According to NFPA’s U.S. Home Fires Involving Heating Equipment report, heating equipment is the second-leading cause of U.S. home fires and the third-leading cause of home fire deaths. More than half of these home fire deaths resulted from fires that began when heating equipment was too close to things that can burn, such furniture or bedding. You can avoid becoming a fire statistic by taking these preventive measures.
Space Heater Safety Tips
- Keep children and pets away from heaters
- Always turn off heaters when you go to sleep or if you are not in the same room
- Plug space heaters directly into a wall outlet
- Keep the heating unit away from walls and any flammable objects like rugs, blankets or pillows
- Always place the heater on a stable, flat surface
- Buy a space heater with safety features such as automatic shut off if unit is tipped over or overheats, and
- If using a fuel burning space heater, only use the specified type of fuel for that unit
Fireplace Safety Tips
Many of these same tips apply to using a fireplace, but HealthyChildren.org's fire safety page offers some additional fireplace safety guidelines such as:
- Have the chimney inspected and serviced by a professional annually.
- Check for animal nests or other blockages that might block smoke from escaping (this is something we have personally seen as a cause for local fire damage to homes!)
- Keep the screen closed to prevent sparks from escaping and igniting nearby items
- Use aged, dry wood to minimize smoke
- Clean the firebox (the area where the firewood sits) weekly during months that you are using your fireplace regularly, and leave about an inch of ash.
We always recommend keeping a fire extinguisher on hand. Functioning smoke detectors and carbon monoxide (MO) detectors with current batteries are also important tools for fire detection and prevention, but especially if you use space heaters or fireplaces for additional home heating.
We hope these fire safety tips help you stay both warm and safe! Should you ever have a fire emergency, call us right away at (352)374-6589. We can work with your insurance company to restore your home and contents.