As the temperatures begin to drop during the winter season, you’re going to depend more on more on various heating equipment to keep warm, whether it’s your home’s HVAC system, your fireplace or your space heater. While these are perfectly fine ways to keep warm, there are some safety issues inherent with the use of such heating methods. Heating equipment, after all, is the leading cause for home deaths – and almost 50 percent of all heating equipment fires occur during the winter months. The following are five fire safety tips that will help you heat your home safely during the winter:
- Test your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors
First of all, you should have smoke alarm alarms and carbon monoxide (CO) detectors on every floor of your home. They can save your life and the lives of your family if a fire does break out. Make sure that you replace old batteries and that you test each alarm and detector to make sure that they work properly towards the beginning of winter.
- Clear space around heating equipment
Make sure you have nothing flammable stored beside your furnace, fireplace or space heaters. In fact, there should be at least three feet of clear space all around your heating equipment. For example, if your furnace is in your basement and you’re also using your basement as storage, make sure you don’t end up surrounding the furnace with cardboard boxes full of old clothes.
- Have your fireplace inspected before use
There’s a good chance that you only use your fireplace during the winter seasons, which means it remains unused for most of the year. Before you begin depending on it to heat your home, have a professional come inspect the fireplace. You’ll want to make sure that there’s no damage to the chimney and that any soot or debris buildup is cleaned out to prevent a potential chimney fire from occurring.
- Use a fireplace screen
A screen that sits in front of your fireplace can help to prevent sparks from your fire from flying out into your room. A single spark can end up lighting a fire. Technically, you should never leave a fireplace fire unattended – but it does happen, which is why a screen will help provide your home with extra fire protection.
- Always turn your space heaters off when leaving a room
Space heaters are a great way to provide heat to just one room, thereby saving the cost of heating the entire home. However, you need to make sure you don’t forget to turn the space heater off when you leave the room or go to bed.
There’s no way to avoid using your heating equipment during the winter – it can be dangerous to your health if it’s too cold, after all. But there are ways to prevent fires from breaking out due to the use of your heating equipment. These are five important fire safety tips that you should employ in order to heat your home safely during the winter months.