Many of the sources that we use to supplement, or entirely heat, a home in the winter can actually pose a potential fire risk if you are not careful. These include wood-burning fireplaces, pellet stoves and space heaters. While they can be great sources of heat, you should take precautions to ensure that there is no risk of a fire, which can badly damage your home and belongings.
- Keep all flammable objects a safe distance away from the fire, typically a minimum of three feet
- Place a screen over the fireplace to prevent burning embers from escaping
- Have the chimney professionally inspected and cleaned annually
- Ensure that there is appropriate venting
- Install a chimney cap to prevent leaves and debris from falling into the chimney
- Burn only well-seasoned, dry hardwood
- Dispose of ashes safely in a metal container with a lid
Pellet Stove Safety
- Keep flammable objects, including walls and furniture, a safe distance away from the stove
- Use only high-quality pellets
- Inspect and clean the stove regularly
- Schedule annual maintenance by a professional
- Dispose of ashes safely, placing them in a metal container with a lid
Space Heater Safety
- Always turn off and unplug the space heater when it is not in use
- Never leave a space heater unattended when turned on
- Do not place the heater under a desk or in an enclosed space
- Plug directly into the wall outlet
- Ensure that your space heater has an automatic shut off
Beyond these safety precautions, it is important to have working smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors throughout the home. Fire extinguishers should be easily accessible near any of these heat sources and they should never be left unattended or with small children or pets alone. By adhering to these safety practices, you can ensure that your home is toasty and warm all winter long.
If you do experience a fire, Soil-Away has teams on call 24/7 to assess the damage and begin the restoration process immediately. In an emergency contact Soil-Away at 603-641-6555.