Heating your home safely during the winter season

SPOKANE, Wash. — Heating fires are the most common during the winter months of December, January and February, but they are easily preventable if you use your heating equipment the right way.

Here are some tips you should remember from the National Fire Protection Association:

  • Keep anything that can burn at least three-feet (one meter) away from heating equipment, like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove, or portable space heater.
  • Have a three-foot (one meter) “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 every year by a qualified professional.
  • 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.
  • Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room. Ashes should be cool before putting them in a metal container.
  • Keep the container a safe distance away from your home.
  • Test smoke alarms at least once a month.

You also don’t want to forget the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning, which can occur when fuels such as gas, wood, coal burn incompletely in the home.

For more information, see this page from the National Fire Protection Association website.