During the months of December, January and February, home fires occur more than any other season, according to the National Fire Protection Association.
Space heaters account for more than two of every five fires and most deaths and injuries in home fires are caused by heating equipment, the NFPA reports.
If the chilly temperatures have your family gathered around the fireplace, wood stove or even a space heater, you’re not alone.
But while keeping warm in the cold months, you should be aware of some fireplace and heating device safety tips from the NFPA and the U.S. Fire Administration:
- Keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from your furnace, fireplace, wood stove, coal stove, pellet stove or portable space heater
- Do not burn paper in your fireplace, wood stove, coal stove or pellet stove
- Keep a glass or metal screen in front of the fireplace to prevent embers or sparks jumping out
- Put the fire out before you go to sleep or leave your home
- Turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed
- Put ashes in a metal container with a lid, outside, on a non-wooden surface, at least three feet from your home
- Have your fireplace and chimney regularly inspected for creosote buildup, and to be certain that birds and rodents haven’t nested in it creating potential chimney fire hazards
- Have a qualified professional install stationary space heating equipment
- Have equipment cleaned and inspected each year
- Have your wood, coal or pellet stoves professionally installed
- Have your wood, coal or pellet stove flue inspected annually
- Plug portable heaters directly into outlets and never into an extension cord or power strip
We hope these tips will help to keep your home safe from preventable fires caused by heating sources like fireplaces and furnaces. To ensure you get the right coverage for your home and auto insurance in Massachusetts, get a fast, free quote today to see if you could save!