Heating Safety Tips

Published On: Nov 18 2011 11:22:11 AM CST   Updated On: Jan 10 2011 02:20:51 AM CST

December, January and February are the leading months for U.S. home fires and home fire deaths, according to the National Fire Protection Association.

On average, more than one-third of home fire deaths in the United States occur during the winter months.

Safer Home Heating

The NFPA's latest report on U.S. home heating fire patterns indicates that heating equipment fires are the third-leading cause of fire deaths in American homes and the biggest fire culprit from December through January.

NFPA experts say that most U.S. home fires caused by heating equipment could be prevented by taking simple safety precautions.

According to the report, the major causes of U.S. home heating fires are:

Tips for Preventing Heating Equipment Fires

When purchasing new heating equipment, the NFPA advises selecting equipment that bears the mark of an independent testing laboratory.

Install and maintain heating equipment correctly, and be sure that it complies with local fire and building codes.

Where possible, have local building or fire officials check the installation and maintenance.

Here are some specific fire prevention tips from the NFPA to keep in mind when heating your home:

Portable and Other Space Heaters

Portable Kerosene Heaters


Wood Stoves

Portable LP Gas (propane) heaters with self-contained fuel supplies (cabinet heaters) are prohibited for home use by NFPA fire safety standards.

Source: National Fire Protection Association