Heating equipment is the
second leading cause of home fires in North America. But during
winter, it is the leading cause according to the National Fire
To avoid home-heating fires, remember these
Portable heaters fueled by gas, kerosene, wood or coal: All
heaters must be at least 36 inches away from anything that can burn.
Never leave them on when you are not in the room, or when you go to
sleep. Never dry clothing on a heater.
Kerosene heaters: Use only the
fuel recommended by the manufacturer. (Never use gasoline!) When
refueling, turn off the heater and let it cool before adding fuel.
Wipe up spills promptly. Store kerosene away from heat or open flame
in an approved container.
Fireplaces: Have the chimney
inspected prior to the start of the heating season and cleaned if
necessary. Creosote builds up in chimneys and causes chimney fires.
Always use a sturdy screen when burning. Remember to burn only wood.
(Never burn paper or pine boughs.) And never use flammable liquids
in a fireplace.
Wood stoves: Be sure the stove
meets local fire codes and is properly installed and maintained.
Chimney connections should be inspected at the beginning of each
heating season. Follow the same safety rules for wood stoves as for
space heaters. Burn only wood, and be sure the stove has approved
stove board below it and behind it to protect floors and walls.
Portable LP gas heaters with self-contained fuel supplies are
prohibited for home use by fire safety standards.