Heating season is in full swing and with that comes an elevated risk for home heating related fires. Annually U.S. fire departments respond to an average of 52,050 fires involving heating equipment. Space heaters are most often involved in home heating fires followed by solid-fuel heating equipment like fireplaces. The Plainfield Fire Protection District has the following tips to help you stay safe and warm this winter.

The primary cause of space heater involved fires are from the space heater being located too close to anything that can burn such as furniture, clothing, mattresses and bedding. Always keep 3 feet of clear space around space heaters. Turn space heaters off before leaving the room or going to bed. Never plug a space heater into an extension cord. Fuel burning space heaters need to cool before refueling and only refueled outside. Make sure there is adequate ventilation and fresh air from an open window when using a fuel burning space heater. Always follow manufacturer’s instructions for proper use when using any type of space heater.

The main cause of fireplace related fires is from a failure to clean the fireplace and chimney. Chimneys need to be cleaned and inspected annually by a qualified professional. Only burn dry, well-seasoned wood and use artificial logs according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Newspaper or kindling wood should only be used to start a fire; never use flammable liquids to start a fire. Use a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room and keep anything that can burn at least 3 feet away from your fireplace. Allow ashes to cool before disposal and put them in a metal container with a lid that is kept a safe distance from your home or other structures. Always supervise children and pets around open flames.
Have heating equipment inspected and maintained annually by a qualified professional for safety. Make sure heati