Tips on Safe Home Heating Practices

UL is asking: where do families fall on the home heating safety thermostat? Are they in the hot zone? If using space heaters, UL suggests families do so with extreme caution – of all fires and injuries related to home heating, 73 percent and 43 percent, respectively, result from improper use of these devices. Think it’s safe and easy to warm the home by starting a small fire in the hearth? Think again. Unfortunately, failure to clean a chimney or flue is the leading cause of all home heating equipment fires combined.

All heaters need space. Keep items that can burn, such as paper, bedding or furniture, at least three feet away from heating equipment.

Always turn space heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed, and never place them in an area where a child is sleeping unsupervised.

Look for automatic shut-off features and heating element guards when buying space heaters.

Maintain the chimney and flue by having them cleaned and inspected annually by a trained professional.

Use a sturdy fireplace screen to prevent sparks from flying into the home.

Be alert to the danger signs that signal a CO problem such as the absence of a draft in your chimney, fallen soot from the fireplace, or small amounts of water leaking from the base of the chimney, vent or flue.

Keep wood stove doors closed unless loading or stoking the fire.

Install wood stove chimney connectors following manufacturer’s instructions or have a professional handle the job, as many injuries are the result of improper installation.

Only use heating equipment that has a safety mark of accreditation, such as the UL Mark. Products that bear the UL Mark have been tested to UL’s stringent safety standards and found to be free of foreseeable hazards.

Never use cooking stoves, grills or gas ovens to heat a room or home. They could potentially cause deadly carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning.

Maintain all heating equipment by having it inspected, cleaned and fixed annually by a trained professional.

Install smoke alarms on each level of the home and a carbon monoxide alarm outside each sleeping area to ensure every area of the home is covered.

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