A Guide to Safely Heating Your Home

Feb 25, 2019

25 Feb
2019
Auto Insurance

A Guide to Safely Heating Your Home

by James Elliot

December, January and February are the leading months for home heating fires. It’s no surprise why. Keeping your home warm requires combustion, and combustion increases the chances of a fire.

This blog will share some helpful tips about how to keep your home cozy and safe as we near the end of a very cold winter.

Space Heaters

Space heaters are incredibly handy. If you have a drafty office, basement or bedroom, space heaters provide a quick fix. But did you know that, according to the National Fire Protection Association, a whopping 43 percent of home fires are caused by space heaters?

There’s no problem with purchasing a space heater. Just make sure you get a quality one and that you use it correctly.

First, the Department of Energy recommends only purchasing space heaters with Underwriter’s Laboratory (UL) labels. Consumer Reports, meanwhile, recommends purchasing a space heater with safety features that automatically shut the unit off if it begins overheating or if it tips over.

Make sure to set up the space heater in your home correctly. That means placing it on a level surface, plugging it directly into the power outlet rather than to a power strip, and keeping it away from anything flammable.

Fireplaces

Over time, flammable tar and sap released from burnt wood build up on the inside of chimneys and present fire hazards. The Chimney Safety Institute of America recommends having your fireplace cleaned and inspected each year, ideally in the early fall.    

When you are making a fire, be sure to remove any flammable items from the area. The National Fire Protection Association recommends placing a sturdy metal screen in front of the fireplace to prevent sparks and embers from escaping.

Furnaces

Have your furnace inspected per the manufacturer’s instructions. Dirty and poorly maintained furnaces pose fire risks as well as the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. When having your furnace inspected, make sure they check to see if the filter needs to be replaced and that they vacuum out the vents.

Do not place furniture, books or magazines in front of vents so warm air is distributed evenly throughout your home. Change your air filters on a regular schedule to keep your energy bill as low as possible.

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