How to heat your home safely this winter

(KFVS) - Keeping fire safety in mind while heating your home this winter is important. Here are a few things to remember when you're trying to keep warm.

According to officials with Jackson Fire Rescue, this is what to do:

If you are using a portable heater:

  • The heater needs to have an automatic shut-off so if it tips over, it turns off.
  • Keep anything flammable at least three feet from the heater.
  • Never use an extension cord or power strip to plug in portable heaters.
  • Turn heaters off when you go to bed or leave the room.

If you are using a fireplace:

  • Keeping a glass or metal screen in front of the fireplace will prevent embers or sparks from jumping out and starting a fire.
  • Do not burn paper in your fireplace.
  • Make sure the fire is out before you leave or go to sleep.
  • Put ashes in a metal container with a lid. Store the container outside at least three feet from your home.

If you are using a wood stove:

  • Have your chimney inspected and cleaned each year by a professional.
  • Keep anything that can burn at least three feet from the stove.
  • Do not burn paper in your wood stove.
  • Before you go to sleep or leave your home, put the fire out completely.

Be aware of carbon monoxide, also known as CO. This gas is colorless, odorless, and poisonous. Breathing CO at high levels can kill you.

Put CO alarms inside your home to provide an early warning of increasing CO levels. These alarms should be placed in a central location outside each sleeping area and on every level of your home.

As always, make sure you have a smoke alarm on every level of your home. Test your alarms every month. Make sure everyone knows how to escape your home if there is a fire.

For more information on heating fire safety, go to the U.S. Fire Administration.

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