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Home Heating Safety Tips to Prevent Fire Damage

Prevent Fire Damage Caused by Home Heating 

With home heating prices soaring, many homeowners are turning to alternative methods to stay warm. Space heaters, fireplaces, and other electronics should be used with caution. One of the leading causes of house fires is home heating equipment according to the National Fire Protection Agency. Homeowners and insurance agents should be prepared as the majority of home fires occur from December to February. "Nearly half of American families use alternative heating sources such as space heaters, fireplaces, or wood/coal stoves to stay warm" (American Red Cross). Read on to learn ways to keep your home and family safe and warm and prevent home heating fire damage this winter.

How to Safely Keep Warm With…

Space Heater Fire Safety

  • Keep space heaters 3 feet from all other items. “Over half (54%) of the home heating fire deaths were caused by having heating equipment too close to things that can burn, such as upholstered furniture, clothing, mattress, or bedding.” (
  • Never use a kerosene space heater in the home as this can result in accidental CO2 poisoning.
  • Choose space heaters rated by the UL and contain automatic shut-off safety features
  • Only use space heaters on a flat surface

Fireplace and Wood Stove Fire Safety

  • Have your fireplace or wood stove serviced before burning in it for the first time each season. Failure to clean is the leading cause of home heating fires (NFPA).
  • Place a screen in front of the fireplace to keep rogue embers contained
  • Only burn seasoned wood. Fresh, wet cuts can become smokey and are not recommended
  • Be sure to open the flue before burning.
  • Teach kids and pets to stay a safe distance away. 
  • Never leave a fireplace unattended and extinguish it before leaving or going to bed.
  • Wait for the embers to fully cool before cleaning out the wood stove or fireplace. Place ash in a metal bucket.

Electrical Heating Product Fire Safety

  • Never run extension cords under carpets and never plug a space heater or electric blanket into an extension cord.
  • Make sure you have working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
  • There is a low risk of an electric blanket overheating but they are not recommended to use overnight
  • Check the cords on your electric blanket or space heaters for worn or frayed wires
  • Don't overload your circuits. Heat-generating electronics should be the only item plugged into an outlet. 
  • Never use the kitchen stove or oven to heat your home.

We hope you will find these suggestions useful this winter. If you do experience fire damage from a home heating fire, we can help. Our crews are available 24/7/365 for emergency disaster restoration. Call 800-865-5157 for fire damage restoration services.