Warning: Alternative Heating Sources Can Be Deadly!
These days, many homeowners are exploring alternative heating sources as a means of heating their homes and reducing heating bills during the winter months. Pellet stoves, wood stoves, fireplaces and space heaters are among the many home heating solutions that have seen a resurgence in recent years — both as primary and supplementary heating sources — as homeowners try to do their parts to save on heating bills.
While these old-fangled heating methods can be extremely cost-effective and can give your home a special ambiance and charm, they can also be extremely dangerous if not properly installed or maintained. In fact, over the last several years, the Insurance Information Institute reports an alarming increase in the number of home fires, smoke damage and carbon monoxide poisonings traceable to the incorrect installation or use of these heating alternatives.
Alternative heating sources require special care and attention at all times. If you plan to use a wood stove or other alternative heating source in your home, Horizon Services recommends that you heed the following tips:
- Be sure that carbon monoxide detectors are installed in throughout your house
- Make sure that smoke and fire alarms are working properly
- Make sure that there is plenty of clearance bertween the stove and floors, walls and ceilings
- Keep combustible items such as books, newspapers, clothing and furniture far away from the heating source
- Make sure that your stove or heating source sits on a non-combustible, fire-resistant base
- Burn only dry-well-seasoned wood
- Dispose of ashes in a closed metal container outside of your home
- Regularly clean vents, flues and chimneys
- Check power cords frays, cracks and breakage
- Never let a fire burn unattended or overnight while you sleep
- Keep a fire extinguisher handy