The turning leaves, wind chills, and wet weather are the prime indicators that it is time to turn up the thermostat, throw a log on to the fire, or bring the space heater out of storage. With the rising cost of fuel and electricity, there are many ways you can stay warm and cozy inside your home and do it safely.
The Institute for Business & Home Safety has provided the tips seen below for alternative heating devices, but warn: “Before using any heating device, install carbon monoxide detectors in several parts of the house. Never use a kerosene heater indoors.”
- Wood Pellet Stoves: a modern way to heat your home with an automated fuel-delivery system.
– Hire a licensed professional to install these stoves.
– There should always be consideration for proper ventilation and electrical outputs.
– Use floor protection and keep all combustible materials away from the stove.
– Per the manufacture’s guidelines, maintain the stove regularly to keep it in good working condition.
- Wood Stoves: a traditional way to heat spaces, but have also been the cause of many home and chimney fires
– Pick a stove that has been approved and tested by Underwriters Laboratories (UL).
– If buying a used stove, make sure it is not broken and does not have any cracks.
– Make proper accommodations for the ventilation system you choose.
– Keep combustibles a safe distance away (at least 36-inches, 3-feet).
– Use the proper floor coverings around the stove.
– Keep the flue clear and unobstructed.
- Space Heaters: good for small spaces but are also the leading cause of home fires when it is chilly.
– Get a model that has been tested by the UL.
– Buy a model that shuts off automatically and has heat guards.
– Keep all items at least 3-feet away from the heater.
– Inspect the heater before use. Check for cracks or abnormalities with the electrical wiring.
– Never leave a heater unattended.
- Fireplaces: the quintessential, traditional way to heat your home that requires a lot of upkeep and care
– Inspect yearly by contracting a professional chimney sweep.
– Clean regularly to keep the fireplace free of obstructions and creosote.
– Install a cap to keep out debris and small animals.
– Use screens or windows on the fireplace closed. Always use a grate.
– Only used approved fireplace tools.
– Clean out ashes in a non-combustible container with a tight lid. Store ashes outside and away from your home.
– Never leave a fire unattended and make sure the fire is completely out before closing the damper.
Click here for additional tips about heating your home with any of abovementioned heat sources, including gas fireplaces.
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