Taking Proper Precautions With Supplementary Heat Sources

During the winter season, you might be one of many looking to save money by any means necessary while still keeping warm, which might include using supplementary sources of heat. Before breaking out the portable space heater or firing up the fireplace, be sure you know which steps to take to avoid a home fire with a few tips from Wagner Mechanical.

Understand the Importance of Staying Safe

To truly comprehend how essential it is to take safety measures with supplementary heat sources, a little perspective is necessary. For instance, supplementary heating sources are often the leading cause of home fires during the colder months of year, followed by cooking equipment. What’s more is portable home heating devices have been known to account for two out of three deaths attributed to a home heating-related fire. Outside of fires and deaths, there’s also the fact that home heating sources can lead to injuries and property damage, all which can be avoided with a few good safety measures.

Portable Space Heaters

With portable space heaters, the main thing to keep in mind is that they need to be placed at least three feet away from anything that might explode or catch fire. If you plan on getting a space heater in the future, check to see that the one you’re considering has been properly tested in a lab. Wagner Mechanical also suggests that you get into the habit of switching space heaters off when you go to bed or leave the room. Be careful that the circuits of electric space heaters don’t become overloaded, and it’s best that you don’t use an extension cord with them. Finally, kerosene and only kerosene should be used with kerosene space heaters, not camp stove fuel or gasoline.

Wood Stoves

Much like with portable space heaters, wood stoves need at least three feet of space between them and flammable or explosive materials. You’ll also want to check to see that your woodstove is UL listed and of good quality before using it. Be sure you have your wood stove professionally cleaned each year before using it, and this is an especially good tip if you haven’t used your stove in a while. No matter how tempted you might be to do so, you never want to use flammable liquid to get a fire going in your wood stove, and the same applies to using charcoal, as doing so can lead to a buildup of carbon dioxide.


Have your fireplace inspected and cleaned before firing it up, as it might have a buildup of creosote. You’ll also want to put up a screen in front of your fireplace to keep sparks from flying. Just like with a wood stove, you don’t want to use flammable liquid to get a fire going in your fireplace. If you use a synthetic log, be sure you carefully read the instructions. When it’s time for bed or when you no longer wish to use your fireplace, make sure there aren’t any hot ashes in the damper before you close it as they can lead to a release of carbon monoxide.

And there you have a few ways to heat safe with supplementary home heat sources. Always use utmost caution while keeping warm, and consider investing in a quality fire extinguisher.

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