Winter Fire Safety Tips from the Lake Forest Fire Department
Here are a few things you can do to reduce the risk of furnace fires:
- Regularly replace furnace filters.
- Keep all areas around the furnace clean and unobstructed.
- Keep the burner area clean and clear of debris.
- Keep all combustible items at least six inches away from the vent pipe.
- Never close off more than 20% of heat registers. If there are any issues with your heating system, contact a professional immediately. For preventative care, have your central heating system cleaned and serviced by a certified HVAC contractor once annually.
Space heaters can be dangerous if not used in accordance with the manufacturer’s operating instructions. Check your owner’s manuals for general maintenance and cleaning instructions.
- Make sure space heaters are equipped with “tip over” protection.
- Keep it away from combustible materials, keep at least 3 feet of clearance in all directions around the heater. Do NOT use an extension cord or surge protector to plug it in.
- Each season before using space heaters, inspect them for damage, including the power cord, and proper operation.
- It is more economical to replace older units than to have them repaired. Newer units are safer and more economical to operate.
- Clean and check fireplaces and chimneys regularly.
- Use a fireplace screen, guard, or glass doors to keep hot ash and sparks contained.
- Store extra wood, and other types of combustible materials, at least 3-feet away from your fireplace.
- Never leave a fire unattended.
- Burn seasoned hardwoods, such as oak, that have been split and stored in a safe and dry environment for at least six-months.
- Keep fires small – never overload your fireplace.
- When building a fire, strategically place logs on a metal grate at the back end of your fireplace; always use kindling to ignite fire.