City Hall Blog (archived)

Concord Fire and Life Safety urges residents to use precautions when using heating equipment


With temperatures getting colder and the potential for record lows on Tuesday, Concord Fire and Life Safety urges residents to use precautions when using home heating equipment. Home fires are more prevalent in winter than in any other season, when many use unsafe heat sources or do not follow fire safety rules.
Keep in mind the following safety tips as recommended by the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA) and the U.S. Fire Administration:
  • Keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from heating equipment such as a portable space heater, fireplace, wood-burning stove or furnace. The three-foot safety zone includes furniture, drapes, electronics—anything that can burn.
  • Have a three-foot “kid-free zone” around open fires and space heaters.
  • Never use your oven to heat your home.
  • Have a qualified professional install stationary space heating equipment, water heaters or central heating equipment according to the local codes and manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional.
  • Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.
  • Do not overload extension cords or outlets and do not place an electrical cord under a rug. Dispose of older, fraying extension cords.
  • Always use only the type of fuel specified by the manufacturer for fuel burning space heaters.
  • Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room. Ashes should be cool before putting them in a metal container. Keep the container a safe distance away from your home.
  • Do not burn Christmas tree branches, treated wood, or wrapping paper in a home fireplace.
Aside from the tips mentioned above, The City of Concord Department of Fire and Life Safety encourages residents to test and replace batteries in smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. Most fires involving furnaces take place at night when people are asleep. As such the most important step in home heating safety is to make sure your smoking alarms are in working condition.

Concord Fire and Life Safety can assist residents with installing or replacing smoke alarms if needed. Contact the department at 704-920-5516.