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February 11, 2014

Heating Device Safety Tips for Homeowners

House on FireIt can be very expensive to heat a home with built-in utilities and people often turn to alternate sources of heat during the cold winter months. Because of this, the number of home fires increases from December through February, mainly due to portable space heaters. Try the following safety tips for using heating devices this winter.

Portable space heaters

  1. Avoid placing heaters is high-traffic areas where they can easily be knocked over
  2. Purchase models that have an emergency shut-off feature if the unit is knocked over
  3. Keep heaters at least 3 feet away from flammable materials such as paper items, bedding and curtains
  4. Avoid using heaters in bathrooms or other areas where they can come in contact with water
  5. Always turn off heaters before leaving the house and before going to sleep

Kerosene heaters

  1. Only use the type of fuel that is recommended by the manufacturer for your particular unit
  2. Frequently inspect exhaust parts for carbon buildup and clean when necessary
  3. Only use fuel burning heaters in areas that are properly vented to avoid exposure to carbon monoxide
  4. Never fill the heater while it is turned on or hot
  5. Refuel outdoors only and store fuel outdoors in approved metal containers
  6. Follow all of the above portable heater tips for kerosene heaters as well


  1. Never burn charcoal indoors to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning
  2. Use a screen to prevent sparks from leaping out and igniting nearby items
  3. Only burn wood or synthetic logs in your fireplace
  4. Rid your mantel of flammable items before lighting a fire
  5. Ensure the a fire is completely extinguished before leaving the house or going to sleep
  6. Never leave a burning fire unattended
  7. Have a professional chimney-sweep clean your chimney annually to get rid of built-up creosote that can ignite inside the chimney

We understand the importance of keeping your family safe. Call Pan American Insurance at 915-562-0009 for more information on El Paso home insurance.

Categories: Blog

Tags: fireplace, homeowners, house fires, house on fire, insurance, kerosene heaters, safety tips, space heaters

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