Fire Prevention Tips from Nationwide
Follow these fire prevention safety tips from Nationwide and the National Fire Protection Association when you use alternative heating sources.
- Never leave a space heater on when you go to sleep. Turn off the space heater if you leave the area. Keep children and pets away from space heaters.
- Plug an electric-powered space heater into an outlet with enough capacity and avoid using an extension cord. If you must, be sure the cord is marked "14-gauge" or higher.
- Place the heater on a level, hard and nonflammable surface, not on rugs or carpets, and keep the heater at least 3 feet from bedding, furniture and drapes.
- Use a heater that has been tested to the latest safety standards and certified by Underwriters Laboratories (UL).
- Make sure your heater is the right size for your home. An oversize heater can produce excess carbon monoxide.
- Have heaters inspected annually to ensure proper operation.
- Have flues and chimneys professionally inspected for leakage and blockage by creosote or debris.
As smoke from fireplaces and wood-burning stoves rises, it cools and
causes highly combustible creosote buildup. Conditions that contribute
to buildup include:
- burning wood that has not been seasoned a full year
- chimneys or flues that are too large
- metal chimneys that may have cooler-than-normal surface temperatures or restricted air supplies
- Install working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors on every level of your home, test them monthly and keep them clean and equipped with fresh batteries at all times.
- Open the fireplace damper before lighting a fire and keep it open until the ashes are cool. An open damper will prevent buildup of carbon monoxide inside the home.
- Never use charcoal in a fireplace because of the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Do not use a kitchen range or oven to heat your house because it could overheat or generate excessive carbon monoxide.
- Dispose of ashes from fireplaces and wood burning stoves outside away from your home in a metal can, wet the ashes and cover with a tight-fitting metal lid.