Exercising Caution with Alternative Heat
Everyone wants to keep their homes and workspaces warm during the winter. In an effort to keep heating costs down, many residents and employees will turn to alternative heat sources, such as fireplaces, wood-burning stoves and portable space heaters.
When used and maintained as directed, there methods can effectively warm your home or office. However, there is also an inherent danger, as heating equipment is the leading cause of home fires during the winter months.
Here are some helpful safety tips:
- Never use the oven, range or stove to heat your home.
- Never burn trash, paper or green wood in your fireplace. These items cause heavy creosote buildup, which could eventually start a fire in your chimney.
- Only buy heaters evaluated by a nationally recognized laboratory, such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL).
- Purchase electric heaters with a thermostat control mechanism that will switch off should the heater tip over.
- Never use electric heaters to dry clothes or other objects. Keep space heaters at least three feet away from any combustibles.
- Plug your electric heater directly into the wall – do not use an extension cord or power strip.
- Always unplug your electric heater when it is not in use.