Don't let a chimney fire cancel out savings on heat

Don't let a chimney fire cancel out savings on heat

More than one-third of Americans use fireplaces, wood-burning stoves or other fuel-fired appliances as a primary heat source in their homes.

Wood-burning is a popular way to save money and effectively heat your home when the cost of fuel continues to increase.

But with more people burning wood, the risks of home fires are expected to increase as well.

Planning ahead and taking appropriate steps can make all the difference.

If you haven’t seen a chimney sweep on your roof recently, you should give one a call and request a chimney inspection. That’s a lot cheaper than having a home fire as a result of a poorly maintained chimney.

Space heaters often are used to provide additional heating in rooms that remain cold despite the home heating system and a wood stove or fireplace. The heaters have their own set of safety risks and should be used with caution.

More wood-burning tips:

  • Use a metal mesh screen with fireplaces, and leave glass doors open while burning a fire.
  • Place logs on an adequate supporting grate when building the fire. 
  • Extinguish the fire before going to bed or leaving the house. 
  • Check building codes and the National Fire Protection Association Web site at www.nfpa.org for proper installation and clearances for wood stoves and inserts. 
  • Stack firewood at least 30 feet from the home. 
  • Remove all branches, leaves and debris from the roof or anything else in the vicinity of the chimney

Space heaters

Space heaters often are used to provide additional heating in rooms that remain cold despite the home heating system and a wood stove or fireplace. The heaters have their own set of safety risks and should be used with caution.

Tips for using space heaters:

Avoid using space heaters for prolonged periods.

  • Keep heaters at least 3 feet away from all combustibles.
  • Never leave a space heater unattended or with unsupervised children. Never sleep while a heater is on.
  • Use only heaters with the Underwriters Laboratories, or UL, safety listing.
  • Never plug a space heater into an extension cord or power strip. Use only a UL listed outlet, and remember to unplug the heater when it’s not in use.
  • Never put anything on top of a space heater. 
  • For fuel-type heaters, never store fuel inside the home. Be sure to allow fresh air inside the house to reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

At the start of every heating season, check all smoke detectors, and check or install carbon monoxide detectors.


 

Have the chimney cleaned and inspected by a reputable service, and clear the area around the hearth of debris, decorations and flammable materials. The same goes for wood stoves.

Space heaters often are used to provide additional heating in rooms that remain cold despite the home heating system and a wood stove or fireplace. The heaters have their own set of safety risks and should be used with caution.



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