Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department
4100 Chain Bridge Rd, Fairfax, Virginia 22030
Phone: 703-246-3801, TTY: 711 and Fax:703-385-1687
Duty PIO (Weekends/After-hours): 703-280-0694
Media Information Line: 703-324-3000
News Release 09-78
Date: November 6, 2009
Alternate Heating Source Safety Tips
The fall and winter are upon us. This causes many of us to seek out alternative sources to heat our home and keep warm. Alternate heating sources are a major contributing factor in residential fires. The following safety tips will help you keep a safe home.
- Keep at least three feet of clearance between your alternate heat source and anything combustible.
- Do not keep or store combustible materials in closed areas or near a heat source.
- Never leave a heater on when you are not in the room or when you go to sleep, and never leave children or pets unattended near heating sources.
- If you use an electric heater, be careful not to overload the electrical circuit.
- Avoid using electrical heaters in bathrooms as they may come in contact with water.
- Only use heaters that have been tested to the latest safety standards and certified by a nationally recognized testing laboratory, such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL). These heaters will have the most up-to-date safety features, such as automatic shut-offs. It is important to install and use heaters according to manufacturer’s recommendations.
- Do not use a range or oven as an alternate heating source. This is a safety hazard and may be a source of toxic fumes.
- Do not use fuel burning appliances without the proper room ventilation.
- Never fill a kerosene heater while it is in operation or hot. Avoid overfilling.
For more information, call Daniel L. Schmidt or Captain I Randal Bittinger, Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department, 703-246-3801 and TTY: 711. Fairfax County is committed to nondiscrimination on the basis of disability in all county programs, services and activities. Reasonable accommodations will be provided upon request.