Heat your home safely

Published 12:26 pm Thursday, December 22, 2022

BROOKHAVEN — Forecasted freezing cold temperatures could have homeowners plugging in electric blankets and space heaters but the Brookhaven Fire Department would like to remind residents of fire safety. Heaters can cause fires if left unattended or near flammable objects and are one of the leading causes of fire fatalities.

Here are some steps you can take to prevent heater caused fires.

  • Keep anything that could burn at least three feet away from heating equipment such as a furnace, wood stove, fireplace or a space heater.
  • Have a three foot “kid free zone” around these heater sources.
  • Never use your oven to heat your home
  • Have a qualified professional install stationary space heating equipment, water heaters or central heating equipment.
  • Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected at least once a year.
  • Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to sleep.
  • Always use the right kind of fuel specified by the manufacturer for fuel burning space heaters.
  • Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room. Ashes should be cool before putting them in a metal container and keep this container a safe distance from your home. Test smoke alarms at least once a month.
  • Test smoke alarms at least once a month.

Did you know half of home fires are reported during December, January and February. Fire is not the only danger during this time of year.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

All fuel burning heat sources should have proper ventilation to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. Install and maintain Carbon Monoxide alarms to avoid the risk of poisoning. If you smell gas in your gas heater do not ignite the appliance. Leave the home immediately and call your local fire department or gas company.

If you have an outdoor fire pit and plan to use it this weekend remember to have it in a location where wind is not able to blow embers onto a structure, keep the fire bellow the ground in a hole or through rocks placed around it and keep the fire contained. Wind speeds should return to normal Saturday night.