Plainfield Fire Dept: Heat Your Home Safely
After responding to several chimney fires, Plainfield firefighters are urging residents to use caution.
Editor's note: The following is a press release issued by the Plainfield Fire Protection District:
Since the beginning of the fall and winter season the Plainfield Fire Protection District has responded to several home fireplace chimney fires.
Here are some fire safety tips for you to help prevent a fireplace/chimney related fire in your home:
- Wood stoves, fireplaces and chimneys should be inspected and cleaned annually by a qualified professional.
- Never use flammable liquids to start a fire. Keep a glass or metal screen in front of the fireplace to contain embers and sparks.
- Keep all combustible materials at least three feet from your fireplace or wood stove.
- Always make sure your fireplace is out before leaving your home or going to sleep.
- Never close the damper when there are still hot ashes; closing the damper will help the smoldering fire to heat up and allow smoke and carbon monoxide to enter your home.
- Follow manufacturer’s instructions when using synthetic logs.
- When cleaning your fireplace, make sure ashes are cool before disposing of them.
- Keep ashes in a metal container with a lid. Store the metal container outside and away from your home.
For more fireplace, wood stove and chimney safety information you may also visit the web site of the Chimney Safety Institute of America at www.csia.org/Homeowner-Resources.
When using portable space heaters please remember that they need space; allow three feet of clearance around all portable space heaters.
Always follow the directions provided by the manufacturer for proper use of your portable space heater. Always turn portable space heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed. Make sure your portable space heater has been tested and certified by a recognized testing laboratory such as UL or ETL.
Your portable space heater should have an automatic shut off so if it tips over it automatically shuts off. Portable space heaters should only be plugged directly into a wall outlet; never use an extension cord or power strip for a portable space heater.
When using kerosene space heaters it is important that you have proper room venting per the manufacturer’s instructions. Never refuel the heater indoors or while it is hot, and keep the fuel properly stored outside of your home.
Have your home’s furnace inspected annually by a qualified professional. Always keep three feet of clearance around your furnace.
Never use an oven or range to heat your home due to the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. If you experience frozen water pipes use hot water or a hand held dryer to thaw them. Never use a blow torch or open flame because the pipe can conduct the heat from the flame and start a fire inside the wall space. In addition to making sure your fireplaces, wood stoves, chimneys, furnaces and space heaters are properly maintained, it is also important that you have working smoke alarms on every level of your home and inside bedrooms.
There should also be a carbon monoxide alarm located within fifteen feet of bedrooms. Test your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms monthly. Properly working smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms save lives. For more information about fire and life safety please call the Plainfield Fire Protection District at 815-436-5335 or visit www.plainfieldfpd.com.