Keep your family and home safe this winter with these helpful tips:

Heating system safety tips

  • Have a technician or HVAC professional install stationary space heating equipment, water heaters or central heating equipment according to local codes and manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Install wood burning stoves following manufacturer’s instructions or have a professional do the installation. All fuel-burning equipment should be vented to the outside to avoid carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning.
  • Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional.
  • Keep portable generators away from windows and use them as far away from the house as possible.

Fireplace safety tips

  • Make sure that your fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks flying into the room.
  • Fire ashes should always be cool before putting them into any kind of covered, metal container.
  • Never put ashes into a plastic container.
  • Keep fireplace ashes containers a safe distance away from your home.

General home heating safety tips

  • Keep anything that can burn at least 3 feet away from heating equipment, like your furnace, fireplace or portable space heater.
  • Have a 3-foot designated “Kid Free Zone” around open fires and space heaters.
  • Never use your oven to heat your home.
  • Plug only one heat producing appliance (such as a space heater or portable radiator) into one electrical outlet at a time.
  • Remember to always turn portable heaters off when leaving any room or before going to bed.
  • Always use the correct fuel, specific by the manufacturer, for fuel burning space heaters.
  • Test your smoke alarms monthly.
  • Make sure you have carbon monoxide (CO) alarms installed in your home to avoid the risk of CO poisoning and test them monthly.
  • If you smell gas in your home or coming from your gas heater, do not light the appliance. Leave your home immediately and call your local fire department or gas company.
  • Never leave candles burning unattended.

*Source: nfpa.org