Keep home heating safety in mind

Keep home heating safety in mind

By Karen Herreros

There is something about the winter months and curling up with a good book by the fireplace. But did you know that heating equipment is one of the leading causes of home fire deaths? With a few simple safety tips and precautions, you can prevent most heating fires from happening.

Yes, I know this winter has passed, but learn to be warm and safe for the upcoming and future winters

Keep anything that can burn at least three-feet away from heating equipment, like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove or portable space heater.

Have a three-foot “kid-free zone” around open fires and space heaters.

Never use your oven to heat your home.

Have a qualified professional install stationary space heating equipment, water heaters or central heating equipment according to the local codes and manufacturer’s instructions.

Have heating equipment and chimney cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional.

Remember to turn portable space heaters off when leaving the room, leaving the house or going to bed.

Always use the right kind of fuel, specified by the manufacturer, for fuel burning space heaters.

Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room. Ashes should be cool before putting them in a metal container.  Keep the container a safe distance away from your home.

Test smoke alarms at least once a month.

Heating equipment smarts

All fuel burning equipment should be vented to the outside to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.

Install and maintain CO alarms to avoid the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

If you smell gas in your gas heater, do not light the appliance. Leave the home immediately and call your local fire department or gas company.

Scripps Ranch Fire Safe Council,, srfiresafe@org, (858) 201-3711.