The temperatures outside, while not quite freezing yet, are starting to drop dramatically and homeowners are switching on the heat to combat these temperatures. With the price of fuel today many also begin to seek alternative sources to supplement their home’s heating system during these winter months. These types of alternative heat sources may also come with serious fire risks that you should be aware of if not taking the proper precautions.
From wood pellet stoves to fireplaces and space heaters, you should always exercise caution when heating your home. Before using any heating device make sure that a carbon monoxide detector is installed in several areas of your home and that the batteries are in working order.
In recent years more and more homeowners are turning to pellet stoves to provide additional heat within the home. These should always be installed by a professional and care should be taken where to place the stove within your home. It should never be near combustible materials and the exhaust by-products should be efficiently vented out of the home. It is particularly important to have a carbon monoxide detector in the direct vicinity of a pellet stove.
Wood stoves remain a popular choice in alternative heating sources. However, they have also been linked to an increase in fires. There should be at least 36 inches between the stove and any combustible material. A non-combustible floor covering should extend around and up to 18 inches from the stove. The chimney should extend at least three feet above the highest point of the roof that it passes.
Space heaters continue to be an affordable option for providing heat. These should never be operated when the home is empty. Cords and electric outlets should be in perfect working order and the cord should never be routed under a rug or carpet.
Many homes today rely on the tried and true fireplace to heat the home. To keep the fireplace running optimally the homeowner should commit to annual inspections by a professional chimney sweep. A removable cap installed at the top of the chimney can keep out debris and animals that can pose a fire hazard. When in use, the screen and glass doors of the fireplace should be opened and the fire should never be left unattended. Gas fireplaces should be kept clean and the air circulation passages and fan should be inspected regularly.
Alternative sources are a great way to lower your heating bill during the winter months. But you need to operate these items safely and with a few extra precautions to prevent any fire risk that they may pose. If you have fire damage of any kind, call Soil-Away 603.641.6555 for help in restoring your home.