It's not too early to begin preparing for the heating season.
- Have your furnace inspected and serviced by a qualified professional at least once a year.
- Have your chimneys and vents cleaned and inspected by a qualified professional at least once a year. The leading cause of chimney fires is from built up creosote.
- Make sure wood for your fireplace or wood stove is dry, seasoned wood.
- Keep a fireplace screen which is in good condition made of metal or heat-tempered glass in front of the fireplace.
- Dispose of cooled ashes in a cover metal container. Place ash container at least 10 feet from the home and any nearby buildings.
- Teach children to stay at least 3 feet away from the fireplace, wood/pellet stove, and space heaters.
- Make sure your portable space heater has an automatic shut-off.
- Plug portable space heaters into an outlet (not an extension cord) and place at least 3 feet from anything that can burn (bedding, paper, walls, and even people). Turn off portable heaters when you leave a room or go to bed.
- Test your smoke alarms at least once a month to make sure they are working. Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside each sleeping room, and outside each separate sleeping area. For best protection, smoke alarms should be interconnected so when one sounds, they all sound.
- Test your carbon monoxide alarms at least once a month to make sure they are working. Carbon monoxide alarms should be located outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home.
For more information, please visit the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) website at www.nfpa.org/education.