The high cost of home heating and the current recession have led many Americans to search for alternate sources of home heating. Many of these sources of heating may be acceptable if appropriate safeguards are used. However, be aware these supplemental heating devices are responsible for thousands of home fires each year.FireplacesFireplaces and wood stoves regularly build up creosote in their chimneys. They need to be cleaned frequently and chimneys should be inspected for obstructions and cracks to prevent deadly chimney and roof fires. Check to make sure the damper is open before starting any fire. Never burn trash, paper or green wood in your fireplace. These materials cause heavy creosote buildup and are difficult to control. Use a screen heavy enough to stop rolling logs and big enough to cover the entire opening of the fireplace to catch flying sparks. Do not wear loose fitting clothes near any open flame. Make sure the fire is completely out before leaving the house or going to bed. Store cooled ashes in a tightly sealed metal container outside the home.
Finally, having a working smoke alarm dramatically increased your chances of surviving a fire. Always remember to practice a hoe escape plan frequently with your family.
Source: US Fire Association