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Think Safety First When Turning Up the Heat

Whether to avoid high utility bills, return to simpler times or for ambiance, a growing number of people from are turning to wood-burning stoves and fireplaces to supplement or replace electrical heating systems.

But while stoves and fireplaces may provide effective heating, they are also major contributors to residential fires, and injuries or deaths caused by fumes or carbon monoxide poisoning. 

To eliminate or minimize these potential dangers, the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) offers the following safety advice:

  • Don’t use flammable liquids to start or accelerate a fire
  • Never burn charcoal indoors; it can produce lethal amounts of carbon monoxide
  • Wood-burning stoves should be UL-listed, and of solid construction and design
  • To reduce creosote buildup in a wood-burning stove, run the stove hot twice a day for 15-30 minutes
  • Keep flammable materials away from your stove or fireplace
  • Inspect and clean your chimney annually
  • Use a fireplace screen to keep embers and sparks contained
  • Never leave a fireplace fire unattended
  • Don’t close the damper with hot ashes in the fireplace because it may reheat the fire and bring carbon monoxide into the house

Content provided by Kemper Insurance


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