If you plan to use a wood stove, fireplace, or space heater, be extremely careful. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions, and remember these safety tips:
• Use fireplace, wood stoves, or other combustion heaters only if they are properly vented to the outside and do not leak flue gas into the indoor air space.
• Do not burn paper in a fireplace.
• Ensure adequate ventilation if you must use a kerosene heater.
• Use only the type of fuel your heater is designed to use— don’t substitute.
• Do not place a space heater within 3 feet of anything that may catch on fire, such as drapes, furniture, or bedding, and never cover your space heater.
• Never place a space heater on top of furniture or near water.
• Never leave children unattended near a space heater.
• Make sure that the cord of an electric space heater is not a tripping hazard but do not run the cord under carpets or rugs.
• Avoid using extension cords to plug in your space heater.
• If your space heater has a damaged electrical cord or produces sparks, do not use it.
• Store a multipurpose, dry-chemical fire extinguisher near the area to be heated.
• Protect yourself from carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning by installing a battery-operated CO detector and never using generators, grills, camp stoves, or similar devices indoors.
Fireplace and wood stove Preparedness
If you plan to use a fireplace or wood stove for emergency heating, have your chimney or flue inspected each year.
- Also, if you’ll be using a fireplace, wood stove, or kerosene heater, install a smoke detector and a battery-operated carbon monoxide detector near the area to be heated. Test them monthly, and replace batteries twice a year.
- Have chimney and flue inspected.
- Burn only seasoned hardwood like oak, ash or maple. Do not burn trash, cardboard boxes or Christmas trees because these items burn unevenly, and may contain poisons or cause a home fire.
- Have a professional chimney sweep inspect chimneys every year. They will fix any cracks, blockages and leaks and clean out any build-up in the chimney that could start a fire.
- Creosote logs can be used to help reduce the build-up of creosote in fireplaces. Check labels to make sure the log has been tested and approved by UL. Even if you use creosote logs, fireplaces should still be inspected by a professional each year.
- Open flues before fireplaces are used.
- Use sturdy screens or glass doors to keep embers inside fireplaces.
- Install at least one smoke alarm on every level of your home and inside or near sleeping areas.
- Keep young children away from working wood stoves and heaters to avoid contact burn injuries.
Portable Space Heaters
- Make sure your heater has been tested for safety. Look on the bottom for a label such as ETL, UL or CSA.
- Space heaters need to have plenty of space around them.
- Place space heaters at least three feet away from anything that can burn - including furniture, people, pets and curtains.
- There should always be an adult in the room when a space heater is on. Turn off space heaters before leaving a room or going to sleep.
- Supervise children and pets at all times when a portable space heater is in use.
- Never use space heaters to dry clothing or blankets.
Check with your local fire department on the legality of using kerosene heaters in your community. Use only the correct fuel for your unit and follow the manufacturer's instructions. Refuel outdoors only, and only when cool. Keep your kerosene heater at least 3 feet away from furniture and other flammable objects.
Maintain ventilation when using kerosene heaters to avoid build-up of toxic fumes. Refuel kerosene heaters outside and keep them at least three feet from flammable objects.