The Houston Fire Department urges citizens to be careful and follow some simple safety tips when using space heaters, fireplaces and other supplemental heating sources. HFD recommends the following safety tips when using supplemental heating sources:
- Make sure you have a working smoke alarm.
- Never leave children unattended in a room with a space heater.Children knock over space heaters especially if they are placed on top of wobbly tables or stools and near where the children play. Children may also stick paper or toys in the grates of the space heaters especially gas space heaters.
- Keep all combustible materials, including yourself at least 3 feet from the heater
- Open face heaters should have a screen
- Provide ventilation to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning
- Vented Gas / Fired Heating Appliances Tips - Central heating units, floor furnaces, recessed wall heaters, and vented space heaters.
Electric Heaters Tips
- Never overload outlets or breakers
- Don't use extension cords for the heater. If the cord is hot to the touch, turn off the heater and unplug it!
- Electric heaters permanently installed in the wall or ceiling should have lint and dust removed regularly. Lint and dust will burn!
- Fireplace safety from the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA)
Just like a space heater, keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from a fireplace, and create a three-foot "kid-free zone" around open fires.
- Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room
- Never leave a fireplace fire unattended, particularly when children are present.
- Ashes should be cool before putting them in a metal container, and kept at a safe distance from your home.
HFD says heating devices cause more than 100 fires in the City of Houston each year, resulting in numerous injuries and possible death.