2021 Fire Prevention Month Tip: Heating Safety

Fall weather in the PNW means many things to a Seattleite: leaves changing from green to gold, daylight savings time, back to school, pumpkin spice everything, and preparing for winter weather, just to name a few.

This week for Fire Prevention Month we are highlighting fire risks related to residential heating sources.

As would be expected, most heating-related fires occur during the colder months when heaters get turned on and the use of portable heaters and fireplaces increases. Fires caused by furniture, bedding, and other materials placed too close to baseboard and portable heaters are the most common types of heating-related residential fires.

Please review these heating safety tips

  • Never block the flow of heat; give your heaters space.
  • Keep children 3 feet away from anything that can get hot, including heaters.
  • Do not put anything close to a heater and do not let anything hang across or on a heater.
  • Never use an extension cord with a portable heater; plug a portable heater directly into a wall outlet.
  • Make sure your portable heater is tested by an independent testing laboratory and has an automatic shut-off feature if it tips over.
  • Turn portable heaters off before leaving the room or before going to bed.
  • Inspect all heating equipment yearly and always hire an experienced electrician to do any necessary repair work on your baseboard or wall heaters.
  • Clean or replace furnace filters regularly. 
  • Have your heating systems and chimneys inspected, cleaned, and repaired prior to cold-weather seasons.
Give your heaters plenty of space:12-inches for baseboard and 3-feet for space heaters.

Watch this new video created in partnership with the King County Fire and Life Safety Association. Translated versions will be available soon!

Heating Safety Messages in American Sign Language

Learn More:

Heating Fire Safety Handout

NFPA Heating Safety Tip Sheet

US Fire Administration-Keeping Kids Safe From Fire