Home Heating Safety Tips - NYCM Insurance Blog

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Jan 15, 2020

Home Heating Safety Tips

If you live in a colder climate, then you know how essential it is to heat your home during the fall and winter seasons. The unfortunate reality is that however you heat your living space – whether it be through the use of a furnace, stove, fireplace or combination of methods – failure to follow standard safety practices puts your home at risk of fire.

Use these tips to practice safe home heating and enjoy the comfort of your home with peace of mind.

If you heat your home with a furnace

Have your furnace inspected. Contact a professional to inspect your furnace annually. A professional will be able to identify any issues with your furnace and get everything ship-shape for the cold months ahead.  
Keep flammable materials away. Keeping flammable items at least three feet away from your furnace will greatly reduce your risk of fire. Common flammable items include curtains, newspaper, gasoline, sawdust, paint and paint thinner.
Replace filters. Change your filters every month or two to keep your furnace running at optimum capacity. You may want to consider changing your filters even more frequently if you have pets or smoke.
If you heat your home with a wood or pellet stove
Have your chimney cleaned by a professional. Before the cold weather hits, it’s important to have your chimney cleaned and inspected by a professional. Not sure how to tell when it needs to be cleaned? Read more here.
Never put ashes in a plastic container. Instead, place ashes in a sturdy metal container with a lid and store it outside. Always wait for ashes to cool before removing and clean your stove regularly to prevent build up.
If you have a wood stove, burn proper fuel. Wood should be cut, split and air-dried for at least a year before burning. Keep your seasoned wood dry and protected by stacking it in a shed or covered with a tarp.

General home heating safety tips:

- When left too long, dust is extremely flammable! Take time every week to vacuum and dust to prevent dust build-up in your home.
- Never leave candles unattended and – if you want to be extra safe – opt for flameless fragrance solutions.
- Be cautious with space heaters; never plug them into a power strip or extension cord and never leave them unattended. Look for space heaters that have an automatic turn-off should they be knocked over.
- Install carbon monoxide detectors throughout your home and test them periodically.
- Install smoke alarms in every bedroom and throughout your home. Test them every season.
- Never use your oven to heat your home as this can lead to a carbon monoxide risk.
- Designate a “kid-free zone” around your fireplace and heating appliances. For extra caution, use radiator covers to prevent burns.

Following these safety tips can help you lower your risk of having a home fire and help you achieve greater peace of mind.

In addition to preventing against fire risks this winter, ensure that your home is protected in all situations. Click on the button below to contact an agent and learn more about home and property offerings.