About half of the reported home heating fires occur during the cold months of winter. This comes as no surprise, taking into account that heating equipment is mostly used during this time. Below are 12 essential tips to avoid heating equipment fires in homes and properties:
- Keep flammable materials at least one metre away from heating equipment, such as wood stoves, furnaces and fireplaces.
- Establish a 1-metre zone around fireplaces or portable heaters – children and pets should not be allowed to enter this zone.
- Ovens or gas-powered camping burners must never be used to heat up a home. This might result in carbon monoxide (CO) build-up.
- Only trained technicians should install central heating equipment, stationary space heating equipment or water heaters (according to local codes and manufacturer’s instructions).
- A professional should inspect and clean the heating equipment and chimneys every year.
- Turn portable heaters off when going to bed or leaving the room – more portable electric heater safety rules here.
- When using fuel-burning space heaters, the device should be refilled only with the type of fuel specified by the manufacturer.
- A mesh metal screen or fire screen should be installed around fireplaces to prevent embers from shooting out of the fireplace. Ashes should be left to cool off before disposing of them and put in a metal container with a tight lid.
- Ensure that smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in the home are working well – the alarms should be tested monthly and batteries should be replaced twice a year. More carbon monoxide poisoning prevention tips are available in this article.
- A multipurpose fire extinguisher should be kept close to an exit on every level of the home. Tips on how to use fire extinguishers safely can be found here.
- If the gas heater emits a gas smell, everyone in the house should exit the home immediately and call the local fire department or gas company.
- Every home should have a fire escape plan that must be practiced by everyone in the household. All possible exits and escape routes in the home should be established.
In order to successfully prevent and/or escape a home fire, it is important to make a distinction between fact and myth. Here are 5 common home fire myths and the truth behind them. The PuroClean team stands ready to provide professional restoration services to any property affected by fire, water or mould damage.