From 2013-2015, an average of 45,900 home hearing fires occurred in the U.S. each year. These fires caused an annual average of approximately 205 deaths, 725 injuries and $506 million in property loss. Home heating fires peaked in the early evening hours between 5 and 9 p.m. with the highest peak between 6 and 8 p.m. This four-hour period accounted for 29% of all home heating fires. The incident of these fires peak in January and confined fires - fires confined to chimneys, flues or fuel burners - accounted for 75% of home heating fires. Twenty-nine percent of the non-confined home heating fires - fires that spread past the object of origin - happened because the heat source (like a space heater or fireplace) was too close to things that can burn.
Here are a few home heating tips:
- Keep anything that can burn at least 3 feet from all heat sources including fireplaces, wood stoves, radiators, space heaters or candles.
- Never use an oven to heat your home.
- Turn space heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.
- Maintain heating equipment and chimneys by having them cleaned and inspected each year by a professional.
Always make sure you have working smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms. Test them once a month.