If you have kerosene heaters, wood stoves, fireplaces or furnaces that burn oil, natural gas or propane in your home, you are at risk for potential fire and/or carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. Home heating equipment is essential, but it isn't safe unless you give it proper attention. These heating safety tips from your East Grand Forks Fire Department could save your life and your property from disaster.
- Chimneys should be checked by a qualified chimney sweep before and during the heating season. Both the fireplace and chimney should be checked for structural integrity.
- Wet ashes down and dispose of them in metal containers.
- Never burn trash, charcoal or plastics in your wood-burning appliance. These items can overheat and cause a fire; they also release dangerous pollutants.
- Portable electric heaters are intended to heat a small space for a short period.
- They must be kept at least 36 inches from anything flammable.
- They must never be left on when occupants are gone or sleeping.
- Gas heating equipment is doubly dangerous; it can cause both fire and carbon monoxide poisoning. If you have an unvented, gas-fired space heater, b sure it has an oxygen depletion sensor to detect reduced oxygen levels and shut off the heater before carbon monoxide accumulates.
- Fuel your portable kerosene heaters outdoors, in a well ventilated area when it has cooled completely. Never use gasoline instead of kerosene.