Fire Prevention Tips for News Stories:
Alternative Heater Fire Prevention and Home Fire Safety
About 3,500 Americans die each year in fires and about 18,300 are injured. You can stop the fire before it starts. Use this fact sheet to learn how to prevent a fire in your home and know what to do if you have a fire.
Stop an alternative heater fire before it starts:
- Kerosene heaters are not allowed in most places.
- If you use a kerosene heater, only use the type of fuel listed in the instructions.
- Allow your heater to cool before refueling and only refuel outdoors.
- Keep the fire inside the fireplace by making sure you have a fireplace screen large enough to stop flying sparks and rolling logs.
- Have your chimney inspected at least once a year. Tar build-up inside of the chimney can cause the
chimney, roof, and the whole house to go up in flames.
- Space heaters need space. Keep items at least three feet away from each heater.
- When buying a space heater, only buy one with a safety feature that automatically shuts off the power if the heater falls over.
- Carefully follow manufacturers' set up and maintenance instructions.
- For wood stove fuel, use only seasoned wood - never use green wood, artificial logs, or trash. Seasoned wood looks dark, or gray when compared to green wood. Seasoned wood is white on the inside.
Be prepared for a fire:
- One of the best ways to protect yourself and your family is to have a working smoke alarm that can sound fast for both a fire that has flames, and a smoky fire that has fumes without flames. It is called a "Dual Sensor Smoke Alarm." A smoke alarm greatly reduces your chances of dying in a fire.
- Prepare an escape plan and practice it twice a year. Make sure everyone in your family knows at least two (2) escape routes from their bedrooms.