Heating your home safely
No matter how you choose to heat your home during the winter, a heating source can become a fire hazard if it's not properly maintained.
Here are a few reminders to help keep your home warm and safe.
Wood-burning stove or pellet stove
- Leave the proper clearance around the stove. Brick, stone, and metal can get hot enough to ignite nearby combustible materials.
- Keep curtains, clothing, furniture, paper, and kindling away from the stove.
- Check the walls near the stove — they shouldn't feel uncomfortably warm.
- Clean the stove regularly. Creosote is a flammable coating that can build up on stovepipes and chimneys and must be removed.
- Never start a stove fire with gasoline, kerosene, or starter fluid. These substances could cause an explosion.
- Clean out your chimney regularly, especially if you use your fireplace often or burn green wood — this can lead to an increased buildup of creosote.
- Have your chimney checked for cracks, loose bricks, or unused flue openings that are improperly sealed.
- Avoid large fires of paper or trash, which send dangerous flames and sparks up your chimney. Use a fireplace screen to prevent sparks from escaping.
- Have a professional inspect your gas fireplace, including cleaning the logs and checking the fan and vents.
For more heating safety tips, visit https://www.usfa.fema.gov/prevention/