As winter arrives, keeping your living spaces warm and cozy is essential. However, house fires occur yearly due to unsafe use of heating sources, causing injuries, property damage, and fatalities. Here are a few helpful tips for heating your home safely, no matter what type of heating you use.

Heating Your Home Safely

1. Wood-Burning Fireplaces

Wood-burning fireplaces are a source of heat in many households. They provide cozy warmth and a pleasant ambiance. However, using the fireplace carefully is necessary to avoid problems or injuries. Verify your fireplace has a working damper to promote good circulation and a sturdy grate to keep the embers inside the fireplace. Have the chimney inspected by a professional before lighting your first fire of the season. Never leave the fire unattended, and extinguish it completely before leaving the house or going to bed.

2. Electric Space Heaters

Electric space heaters are affordable and easy to install in any room. However, be mindful of the heater’s placement to avoid safety hazards. Always plug your space heater directly into the wall outlet and place it at least three feet away from combustible materials. Don’t use extension cords or power strips with the heaters. Never leave the device unattended; turn off and unplug the heater when leaving the room or going to bed.

3. Heating Your Home Safely: Woodstoves

Woodstoves are excellent heat sources, perfect for providing warmth in larger spaces. However, using them safely is essential to prevent injuries or a fire. Similar to fireplace maintenance, homeowners should ensure the woodstove’s chimney has no blockages and a working damper. Verify the woodstove is on a sturdy base and that no flammable materials are nearby. Only use well-seasoned hardwood and never burn painted or chemically treated material.

4. Propane Fireplaces

Propane fireplaces are an excellent alternative to wood-burning fireplaces. They’re easy to use and emit considerable heat, perfect for small spaces. However, the propane tank must be installed outside the house, and a carbon monoxide detecled indoors. Have the propane fireplace inspected annually, and never attempt to repair or modify it yourself.

5. Baseboards for Heating Your Home Safely

When using baseboard heaters, maintain a one-foot clearance around the heaters, keeping combustible items at a safe distance. Regularly inspect the units for wear or damage and address issues promptly. Never use baseboard heaters as makeshift drying racks for clothing or towels. When arranging furniture, be mindful of the heater’s location to maintain proper airflow.

6. Using the Furnace Safely

To keep your home warm and ensure safe use of the furnace, schedule a professional inspection to boost the system’s performance and address issues. Prioritize good ventilation by unblocking vents, ensuring efficient airflow, and reducing the risk of overheating. Avoid using the furnace room for storage to maintain a clear space to operate.

Homeowners can enjoy a warm home and safe living spaces by using their heating sources carefully. These simple tips help maintain cozy living spaces this winter without compromising safety.

St. James Home Services provides professional home inspection services in Durham and the surrounding areas of North Carolina. Contact us to request an appointment.