Home heating comes from a multitude of sources. Often times residents will supplement their main heating system with alternative heat sources such as fireplaces, wood stoves, and portable fuel or electric heaters.
- Have a heating contractor perform a yearly maintenance check-up of your furnace and ventilation system to ensure efficient, safe operation.
- Be sure all furnace controls and emergency shut-offs are in proper working order.
- Leave furnace repairs to qualified specialists. Do not attempt repairs yourself.
- Never store chemicals, chlorine, paint thinners, paint strippers, gasoline, or other flammables near the furnace.
- Make sure there is a free flow of air to the furnace. Keep an area of at least 2 feet around the furnace clear by removing any boxes or obstructions.
- Keep at least 3 feet of clearance between your alternate heat source and anything combustible.
- Never leave a heater on when you are not in the room or when you go to sleep.
- Never leave children or pets unattended near heating sources.
- Only use heaters that have been tested to the latest safety standards and certified by a nationally recognized testing laboratory such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL). These heaters will have the most up-to-date safety features like automatic shut-offs.
- Only install and use heaters according to the manufacturer's recommendations.
- Ensure that your chimney is cleaned and inspected once a year.
- A spark arrestor across the top of a chimney will prevent sparks from igniting your roof.
- Use the proper fuel (seasoned hardwood, pellets, and gas/propane) for your type of system.
- Never use gasoline, kerosene, or other flammable liquids to start a fire.
- Fireplaces should have a sturdy screen across the front to prevent embers from flying or logs from rolling out.
- Follow the manufacturer's instructions carefully. Many "non-masonry" fireplace/chimney units have limitations on the amount of heat they can safely withstand.
- Do not discard your ashes into any combustible container such as a paper or plastic bag, a cardboard box, or a plastic trash can.
- When clearing ashes from the fireplace, be sure to put them into a metal container with a lid. Do not discard your ashes into any combustible container such as a paper or plastic bag, a cardboard box, or a plastic trash can.
- Keep your can outside the home, away from your fireplace or stove. Do not place ash containers on decks, porches, or in garages.
- Pour water into ash containers to make sure the ashes are cool.
- Teach all family members to be safe with ashes from your fireplace or wood-burning stove.