Keep Heating Sources Maintained for a Safe Heating Season
By Mark Askelson firstname.lastname@example.org (10/15/20)
Hillsboro, ND — As temps drop into the 40s for highs, you can bet the furnaces and heaters are coming on and will stay on until spring returns. However, heating equipment is one of the leading causes of fires in homes nationwide, accounting for approximately 15% of all reported home fires. No matter what type of heating source you rely on, home fires can often be prevented by good maintenance and proper detection, according to Hillsboro Fire Chief Jamie Reed.
Fireplaces typically are a cozy source of secondary heat, or a main heat source for smaller homes or cabins. However, they can be unpredictable and dangerous as well.
A few other heating tips from the National Fire Protection Association include:
- Keep anything that can burn at least three-feet away from heating equipment, like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove, or portable space heater.
- Have a three-foot “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.