As the cold weather is upon us, it is time to focus on winter fire safety tips. After cooking, home heating is the second leading cause of residential building fires. To prevent home heating fires please review the following safety tips:
• Maintain heating equipment and chimneys by having them cleaned and inspected annually by a qualified professional.
• Use heating equipment that has the label of a recognized testing laboratory.(UL, FM)
• All heaters need space. Keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from heating equipment.
• Plug space heaters directly into outlets and NEVER into an extension cord or power strip.
• Install and maintain carbon monoxide (CO) alarms inside your home to provide early warning of CO.
• Clear the area around the fireplace hearth of debris, decorations and flammable materials.
• Never use flammable liquids to start a fire in the fireplace or wood stove.
• Use only seasoned hardwood in fireplaces or wood stoves. Soft, moist wood accelerates creosote buildup.
• Never burn cardboard boxes, trash, lumber scraps, or debris in your fireplace or wood stove.
• Never leave a fire in the fireplace unattended.
• Extinguish the fire before going to bed or leaving the house.
• When cleaning the fireplace ashes out, they need to be soaked in water, and placed into a metal container outside your home or garage. Never put fireplace ashes into a plastic garbage can.
• Keep your roof clear of leaves, pine needles or other debris.
• Cover the chimney with a mesh screen spark arrestor.
• Remove branches hanging above the chimney, flues, or vents.
• Remember to check your detectors (smoke and CO) monthly and replace batteries on all detectors twice a year.
Bartlett, IL. Fire Protection District. "Tips for reducing your chance of fire at home." Daily Herald. 31 December. 2012