Practice Fire Safety When Heating Your Home This Winter
Fireplaces, wood stoves, and space heaters all provide warmth during a chilly Washington winter. Many families enjoy snuggling up in front of a cozy fireplace, or flipping on the space heater when they first step into a chilly bathroom. While these sources of heat can be wonderful, they can also increase the risk of fire in your home. The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) offers several tips for heating your home safely this winter.
- Kerosene Heaters: Make sure that kerosene heaters are legal in your area before purchasing one. Use them only in well-ventilated areas. Use only the type of fuel recommended by the manufacturer, and never overfill the heater. Place the heater in a clear space well away from drapes, furniture, or Christmas trees.
- Fireplaces and Wood Stoves: Make sure these are installed with adequate clearance on all sides. Never use lighter fluid or a similar flammable chemical to get a fireplace or wood stove fire going. Have the chimney or stovepipe cleaned regularly to prevent creosote from building up inside and catching fire.
- Furnaces: A furnace should be inspected at the beginning of each cold season to make sure it is working correctly and that its pipes and chimney are firmly attached with no leaks. If your fireplace needs repairs, call a professional. Keep flammable items like books, papers, toys, and bedding away from the fireplace and heating ducts.
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