As winter weather approaches, you may start to turn to alternative heat sources in your home such as fireplaces and space heaters. They will keep your warm and toasty, and they may even help keep your heating bill down, but these devices also put your home at risk.
The statistics don’t lie.
- Heating is the 2nd leading cause of all residential building fires (cooking is #1).
- Half of all home heating fires occur in the winter.
- Home heating fires caused $893 million in direct property damage in 2011.
- Fires confined to chimneys, flues, or fuel burners account for 87% of residential building heating fires.
- 30% of the nonconfined home heating fires occur because the heat source is too close to items that can burn.
What can you do to help your family stay warm AND safe this winter?
- Regularly inspect your heating sources, and always use licensed professionals for service, replacement, and installation.
- Completely extinguish fires and unplug heating devices before leaving the house or going to bed.
- Keep areas around heating sources clear.
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the United State Fire Administration (USFA) have put together the following tips for “putting a freeze on winter fires.”
For additional resources to help keep your home safe this winter, please visit the following links:
- NFPA Heating Safety Tips
- USFA Heating Fire Safety
- The Chimney Safety Institute of America has a variety of resources to aid in fireplace safety
Before you get cozy by the fire this winter, take time to ensure the safety of your heating devices.