Your browser cookies appear to be disabled. In order to use the site correctly, please enable cookies.
Follow Home Heating Safety Tips to Prevent House Fires
Heating fires are the second leading cause of home fires.
Home fires are the single most common disaster that the American Red Cross responds to across the country and heating fires are the second leading cause of these home fires.
With nearly half of American families using alternative heating sources such as space heaters, fireplaces, or wood/coal stoves to stay warm and an ice storm wreaking havoc throughout the Southeast, it is important to review home heating safety tips.
First, make sure you have a working smoke alarm which reduces one’s chances of dying in a fire by nearly half.
Smoke Alarm Safety
Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas.
Teach your children what smoke alarms sound like and what to do when they hear one.
Once a month check whether each alarm in the home is working properly by pushing the test button.
Replace batteries in smoke alarms at least once a year. Immediately install a new battery if an alarm chirps, warning the battery is low.
Smoke alarms should be replaced every 10 years. Never disable smoke or carbon monoxide alarms.
Carbon monoxide alarms are not substitutes for smoke alarms. Know the difference between the sound of smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms.
In case the power goes out during the ice storm and you need alternative sources of heat, or plan to use candles, follow the below safety tips.
Home Heating Tips
Keep all potential sources of fuel like paper, clothing, bedding or rugs at least three feet away from space heaters, stoves, or fireplaces.
Portable heaters and fireplaces should never be left unattended. Turn off space heaters and make sure any embers in the fireplace are extinguished before going to bed or leaving home.
If you must use a space heater, place it on a level, hard and nonflammable surface (such as ceramic tile floor), not on rugs or carpets or near bedding or drapes. Keep children and pets away from space heaters.
When buying a space heater, look for models that shut off automatically if the heater falls over as another safety measure.
Never use a cooking range or oven to heat your home.
Keep fire in your fireplace by using a glass or metal fire screen large enough to catch sparks and rolling logs.
Have wood and coal stoves, fireplaces, chimneys, and furnaces professionally inspected and cleaned once a year.
Candle Safety Tips
Remember that lit candles are fire. Keep them at least 12 inches from anything that can burn, such as curtains, bedding, mattresses, paper, books, flammable decorations, clothing, and upholstered furniture.
Always extinguish candles before leaving the room or going to bed.
Use candle holders that are sturdy, won’t tip over easily, are made from a material that cannot burn, and are large enough to collect dripping wax.
Place candles where they cannot be reached or knocked over by pets and children.
During an emergency, always use flashlights and not candles as light sources.
Never leave a child unattended in a room with a candle. And keep all matches and lighters out of reach and out of site of children.
Keep all lit candles and other open flames away from any flammable liquids.
About the American Red Cross: The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.
Emergency is the one-download resource that puts vital information at your fingertips. This “all-inclusive” app combines more than 35 different severe weather and emergency alerts from natural to man-made, giving you real-time information to help keep you and your loved ones safe.
Users can schedule appointments, track total donations, earn rewards and invite others to join them on a lifesaving team. The Blood Donor App is a great new way to help meet the constant need for blood.
Help your child become a confident swimmer. The American Red Cross Swim app puts the 100 year old Learn to Swim program in the palm of your hand. Brush up on your water safety knowledge, play parent child games together and track your child’s progress in the class.
Take care of your furry family member. The American Red Cross Pet First Aid app puts veterinary advice for everyday emergencies in the palm of your hand. Get the app and be prepared to act when called upon. With videos, interactive quizzes and simple step-by-step advice it’s never been easier to know Pet First Aid.
Be ready for wildfires with the Wildfire App by the American Red Cross. Get the latest state-by-state wildfire news and updates, prepare your family, home and pets, let loved ones know that you are safe even if the power is out – a must have for anyone who lives in an area that is susceptible to wildfires or has loved ones that do.
Get your family and home ready for a tornado with the official Tornado App from the American Red Cross. The Tornado app puts everything you need to know prepare for a tornado – and all that comes with it – in the palm of your hand. With interactive quizzes and simple step-by-step advice it’s never been easier to be ready.
The official American Red Cross First Aid app puts expert advice for everyday emergencies in your hand. Available for iPhone and Android devices, the official American Red Cross First Aid app offers videos, interactive quizzes and simple step-by-step advice it’s never been easier to know first aid.
Monitor conditions in your area or throughout the storm track, prepare your family and home, find help and let others know you are safe even if the power is out – a must have for anyone who lives in an area where a hurricane may strike or has loved ones who do.
The Red Cross Shelter Finder is available in the iTunes store and works on iOS devices. The Shelter Finder displays open Red Cross shelters and their current population on an easy to use map interface.
Be ready for an earthquake with Earthquake by American Red Cross. Get notified when an earthquake occurs, prepare your family and home, find help and let others know you are safe even if the power is out – a must have for anyone who lives in an earthquake-prone area or has loved ones who do.