Heating Safety

Supplemental Heating


Wood Stoves

  • The wood stove or fireplace has been installed according to existing building codes and manufacturer's instructions.
  • The chimney and stovepipe are checked frequently during the heating season for creosote buildup and are cleaned when necessary. 
  • The stove sits on a non-combustible or on a code-specified or listed floor protector.
  • Combustibles such as curtains, chairs, firewood, etc., are at least three feet away from the stove.
  • Only proper fuel is used in the stove. 
  •  A metal container with a tight-fitting lid is used for ash removal. 

Kerosene Heaters

  • Only 1-K kerosene is used and it is bought from a dealer who can certify that the product is 1-K kerosene.
  • The heater is placed out of the path of traffic areas such as doorways and hallways.
  • Kerosene is stored outdoors, and out of the reach of children in a tightly sealed, preferably blue plastic or metal container, labeled "kerosene." 
  • Never fill the heater while it is operating. Always refuel the heater outdoors to prevent spillage on floors and rugs which could later result in fire ignition. 
  • Do not attempt to move the heater if flare-up (flames outside the heater cabinet) occurs. Call 911 immediately.
  • The heater is used in well-ventilated rooms.
  • The heater is turned off while sleeping and is never left operating unattended. 
  • The heater is placed at least three feet away from anything that might catch fire such as clothing, furniture, curtains, etc.

Portable Electric Heaters 

  • Operate the heater at least three feet away from upholstered furniture, drapes, bedding and other combustible materials.
  • Avoid using extension cords unless absolutely necessary. If you must use an extension cord with your electric heater, make sure it is marked with a power rating at least as high as that of the heater itself. Keep the cord stretched out. Do not permit the cord to become buried under carpeting or rugs. Do not place anything on top of the cord. Use only extension cords marked #14 or #12 American Wire Gauge (AWG). 
  • Place the heater on a level floor surface. Never place heaters on cabinets, tables, furniture or the like. 
  • Make sure the heater is turned off when family members leave the house or are sleeping. 
  • Operate heater away from combustible materials. Do not place heaters where towels or the like could fall on the appliance and trigger a fire. Never use heaters to dry wearing apparel or shoes. 

Here are some general tips for supplemental heating appliances:

  • Keep a properly maintained smoke detector on all levels of your home and close to sleeping areas, remember to check it twice a year.
  • Always keep things away from heating appliances, especially children and pets.
  • Heaters should never be left unattended. Do not leave it on while you are away or overnight while you are sleeping.
  • Keep heaters at least three feet away from objects such as bedding, furniture, draperies, and other combustibles.
  • Do not place objects that will melt or burn on heaters
  • Make sure you always follow the manufacturer's instructions in installing, operating, and maintaining your heating appliance.