Increasing fuel and utility prices have led many homeowners to use alternate heating methods. Supplemental heating sources add warmth – and considerable fire risks – to your home. A home where a space heater is the primary heat source is 3 times more likely to have a heating fire than a home where a central heating system is the primary source of heat.
Causes of Heating Fires
Major causes of home heating fires include:
Failure to clean wood burning devices
Burning improper materials in your fireplace/wood burning stove
Lack of proper ventilation around space heaters
Improper heater refueling
Use Supplemental Heating Equipment Properly
Proper placement and use of supplemental heating equipment will help prevent fires:
Allow at least 3 feet of open space on all sides of space heaters, wood stoves and fireplaces
Refuel your heater only when it is cool
Refuel the heater away from open flames such as pilot lights, candles or lit cigarettes
If you use a space heater, choose one with a “tip switch” that automatically shuts off the unit if it is tipped over
Be sure that your wood stove is properly installed and up to code
Have wood stoves, fireplaces and chimneys inspected yearly.