Is Your Heating Source Dangerous?
Thursday, 31 October 2013
| County News & Features | | | 0 Comments

​Now that winter is coming on, space heaters are bound to be coming out and wood will be burning in fireplaces and woodstoves. It’s a good time of year to remember some fire safety tips when using alternative heating sources.

“There are a number of different heating resources to include fireplaces and kerosene space heaters,” said Prince William County Fire and Rescue Battalion Chief Curtis J. Brodie. “The biggest thing is that if you use it, supervise it. Be in the vicinity when you use it. Keep it away from any combustibles, anything that’s going to ignite easily.”
 
According to Brodie, one of the biggest starters of home fires in the winter is improper disposal of fireplace ashes. “One of the aspects of fireplaces and woodstoves is that when you clean them, you need to dispose of the ashes in an appropriate container, a metal container, and then you need to cool them off and dump it somewhere away from your house. They can be hot for the longest time and they’re a potential for ignition.” 
 
Brodie said if people haven’t had their flues and chimneys cleaned recently, they should check into that before firing up the fireplace or the woodstoves. “They’re a big source of potential source of ignition.”
 
Other potential heating hazards include forced-air and gas fed heating systems. Brodie said keeping those systems in good repair is essential. “The biggest problem with those is that you need to have an appropriate maintenance plan in place to ensure that they’re operating effectively. We don’t want to have a build-up of carbon monoxide in the houses related to those systems.”
 
Brodie also said people should be careful to keep children away from fireplaces, wood-burning stoves and kerosene space heaters.
 
For more information, visit pwcgov.org/fire.

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