Safety Tips for Chimneys and Space Heaters
The leading factor that contributes to home heating fires is homeowners’ failure to clean their heating equipment. Both chimneys and space heaters pose as safety threats when they are not properly used or maintained. For those of you who are resorting to these sources of heat as a way to save money this winter, read up on the worthwhile tips below to avoid burning down your house! Just remember, using central heating is the safest way to keep warm this season.
Dirty chimneys are the primary reason for chimney fires to occur. When there is a buildup of creosote and the temperature in the chimney is high enough, a fire is likely to result. The longer smoke resides in the flue, the more likely creosote will form.
- Make sure your damper is open wide enough.
- Use seasoned wood as opposed to unseasoned wood. The drier the wood (seasoned), the cleaner the burn.
- Do not overload the fireplace with wood in an attempt to get a long burn. Your fire has a good chance of getting too large and can also ignite creosote in the flue.
Regardless of whether you own a portable or stationary space heater, make sure that it has been recognized by a reputable testing company. Space heaters are temporary heating devices, which means that they should be shut off when you go to bed or leave the room. Keep space heaters on a level surface and make sure they stay at least three feet away from bedding, drapes, clothing, paper, furniture and any other flammable materials. Your space heater should also have an automatic shut off feature in case it falls over.
Other quick safety tips for space heaters:
- Never use electric space heaters near a bathroom.
- Watch over children and pets while a space heater is on.
- If you decide to use an extension cord, make sure it is the right type for that specific heater.