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Home heating safety tips

Alicia Colombo

Did you know that heating equipment is one of the leading causes of home fire deaths? Half of home heating fires are reported during the months of December, January and February. Take heed of these safety tips and precautions from the National Fire Protection Association. Be warm and safe this winter!

  • Keep any combustible items or materials at least three feet away from heating equipment, including the furnace, fireplace, wood stove or space heater.
  • Never use your oven to heat your home.
  • Have a qualified professional install or repair 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 every year by a qualified professional.
  • Always turn space 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. Let the ashes cool, then place them in a metal container.
  • 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.
  • Install and maintain carbon monoxide (CO) and smoke alarms on every floor of your home, including the basement. Test these alarms at least once a month and replace the batteries twice a year.
  • If you smell gas in your gas heater, do not light the appliance. Leave the home immediately and call your local fire department or gas company.

For more fire safety tips, go to Philadelphia homeowners can request to have free smoke alarms installed by the Philadelphia Fire Department by calling 311. Apartments and rented homes are required to have smoke alarms installed by the landlord.

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