November Safety Message

Wnter Fire Safety Tips

heater fireHome fires often occur during the winter due to faulty heating equipment and various unsafe practices. Listed below are some important safety tips to help keep your home safe this winter:

  • Never use flammable liquids or excessive amounts of paper to start or accelerate a fire.
  • Charcoal gives off lethal amounts of carbon monoxide.

Do not burn indoors.

  • Keep flammables away from heat sources. Wood stoves require a 36” clearance from combustible surfaces.
  • The use of kerosene heaters inside the home is prohibited in California (Sec. 19881, Health and Safety Code).
  • Keep children away from heat sources.
  • Never leave a fire unattended.
  • Wood stoves should be UL approved.
  • Never attempt to heat your home with a device that was designed for outdoor use, such as a camp stove.
  • Have a professional inspect and clean your chimney, stovepipe and/or furnace annually. Do not attempt repairs yourself.
  • Keep a metal or glass screen in front of the fireplace opening. Make sure the damper is open before lighting.
  • Check furnace control and emergency shut-offs to be sure they are working properly.
  • Be sure your heater is in good working condition.
  • Make sure the heater has an emergency shut-off in case the heater is tipped over.
  • Never use fuel-burning appliances indoors.
  • Use only the fuel recommended by the heater manufacturer.
  • Never introduce a fuel into a unit not designed for that type of fuel.
  • Keep kerosene or other flammable liquids stored in approved metal containers, in well-ventilated storage areas that are outside of the house.
  • Never fill the heater while it is operating or hot. When refueling an oil or kerosene unit, avoid overfilling.
  • Use caution with cold fuel, for it may expand in the tank as it warms up.
  • Refueling should be done outside of the house.
  • Keep young children safely away from space heaters—especially when they are wearing nightgowns or other loose clothing that can be easily ignited.

Wood Stoves and Fireplaces

  • Be sure the stove or fireplace is installed properly. Wood stoves should have adequate clearance (36”) from combustible surfaces and proper floor support and protection.
  • Wood stoves should be UL listed.
  • Have the chimney inspected annually and cleaned if necessary, especially if it has not been used for some time.

For more information please call the Albany Fire Prevention Office at 510-528-5775.  Have a safe and healthy Thanksgiving.

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