Pennsylvania – As the weather gets colder, be careful how you’re heating your home.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, heating equipment is the second leading cause of house fires (the largest cause is cooking). Heating equipment fires are responsible for 19 percent of home fire deaths.

Space heaters are the type of equipment most often involved in home heating fires.

Some tips for using space heaters and fireplaces:

  • Give any type of heater plenty of space. Anything that can burn, including furniture or rugs, should be at least three feet away from heating equipment.
  • If you are using a space heater, put it on a flat, clean, non-flammable surface. Don’t put it on rugs or carpeting.
  • Plug heating equipment directly into the wall, not into extension cords or power strips. Check the cord for loose wires.
  • Always turn off portable space heaters when you leave a room or when you got to sleep.
  • Never leave a fire in a fireplace unattended.
  • Have someone inspect your chimney, fireplace, or coal stove each year, and get it cleaned if needed.

If you are having trouble heating your home, contact LIHEAP (Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program) for help with your heating bills.


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