If you live in Massachusetts, heating your home is a necessity during the winter months. Unfortunately, most home heating methods present a fire hazard. Therefore, it is important to be vigilant about safety. Here are a few winter fire safety tips for MA homeowners.
Be Extra Cautious with Space Heaters
We all have that area of our home that may not heat up as well as others,… and may therefore need a portable space heater. Make sure that you do not leave space heaters running unattended. Use a modern system with safety features such as automatic shut-off. Do not use extension cords (most units have a warning about this on their label). Lastly, keep all furnishings away from the unit. This includes sofas, curtains, blankets, etc.
Clean Your Heating System Regularly
All fuel burning heating systems require regular maintenance to run efficiently and safely. Contact a local heating company to inspect and clean your system. Oil systems should receive annual checkups while gas heating systems can typically go bi-annually. Check the operator’s manual for specific recommendations from the manufacturer.
Clean Fireplaces and Wood Stoves
Before each heating season, be sure to have your chimney swept and cleaned. This removes any build-up that may catch fire. Wood stoves also need cleaning. Depending on the amount of use, you may need to perform this more than once a year.
Avoid Heating With These Items
Certain appliances are not meant for heating a home or to be used indoors. For example, do not heat your home by turning on your oven and leaving the door open. This is also a safety danger for children. Another common mistake is using kerosene or propane burners indoors. These are made for use outdoors. They present both a fire danger and may also create air quality concerns.
Additional Winter Fire Safety Tips for MA Homeowners
Keep the above in mind to operate a safe heating environment in your home. As an extra safety measure, be sure to have a working fire extinguisher in your home. Working smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are also important to provide early warnings of fire or air quality dangers. By remaining vigilant, your family will remain warm and safe this winter.