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Winter Safety Tips for the Home


Wood stoves and fireplaces are becoming a very common heat source in homes. Careful attention to safety can minimize their fire hazard.

To use them safely:

  • Be sure the fireplace or stove is installed properly.
  • Wood stoves should be of good quality, solid construction and design, and should be UL listed.
  • Have the chimney inspected annually and cleaned.
  • Do not use flammable liquids to start or accelerate any fire.
  • Keep a glass or metal screen in front of the fireplace opening to prevent embers or sparks from jumping out and help prevent the possibility of burns to occupants.
  • Do not use excessive amounts of paper to build roaring fires in fireplaces. It is possible to ignite creosote in the chimney by overbuilding the fire.
  • Never burn charcoal indoors. Burning charcoal can give off lethal amounts of carbon monoxide.
  • Before you go to sleep, be sure your fireplace fire is out and never close your damper with hot ashes in the fireplace.
  • NEVER break a synthetic log apart to quicken the fire or use more than one log at a time.


  • Avoid using electrical space heaters in bathrooms, or other areas where they may come in contact with water.
  • Use hot water or a UL labeled device such as a hand held dryer for thawing frozen water pipes.
  • Be sure that all the windows used as emergency exits open easily.
  • Never use a range or an oven as a supplemental heating device.
  • If you use an electric heater, be sure not to overload the circuit.
  • Never discard hot ashes inside or near the home.

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