Half of heating-related fires occur in December, January and February, according to View Royal Fire Rescue.
With temperatures hovering in the single digits, the department advises residents follow “simple steps” to prevent heating equipment from causing fires.
They advise to keep items that can burn more than three feet away from furnaces, fireplaces, wood stoves or portable space heaters.
In addition, the fire station advises, residents should:
– Have a three-foot ‘kid-free zone’ around open fires and space heaters.
– Never use your oven to heat your home.
– Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional.
– Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.
– 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.
– Keep the container a safe distance away from your home.
– Test smoke alarms monthly.