El Dorado County Fire Safe Council

The mission of EI Dorado County Fire Safe Council is to protect the people of EI Dorado County and their property from the effects of catastrophic wildfire through education, cooperation, innovation and action.

Safe Home Heating

Even though we are currently experiencing warm weather, cooler weather is just around the corner.  Now is a good time to check your heating systems and clean your fireplaces.  In addition to the tips below, if you have baseboard heating, make sure furniture and drapes did not get moved too close to the heaters over the summer. NEVER place fireplace ashes in a plastic bucket or trash can.

Safe Home Heating

An image of a fireplaceHome fires often occur during the cold winter months due to dangerous heating equipment or unsafe practices. Here are some important safety tips to help keep your home safe and warm this winter:

  • Never use flammable liquids or excessive amounts of paper to start or accelerate a fire.
  • Keep flammables away from heat sources. Wood stoves require a 36” clearance from combustible surfaces.
  • The use of kerosene heaters inside the home is prohibited in California (Sec. 19881, Health and Safety Code).
  • Keep children away from heat sources.
  • Never leave a fire unattended.
  • Wood stoves should be UL approved.
  • Never attempt to heat a structure with a device that was designed for outdoor use, such as a camp stove.
  • Charcoal gives off lethal amounts of carbon monoxide. Do not burn it indoors.
  • Have a professional inspect and clean your chimney, stovepipe and/or furnace annually.
  • Do not attempt repairs yourself.
  • Keep a metal or glass screen in front of the fireplace opening. Make sure the damper is open before lighting.
  • Check furnace control and emergency shut-offs to be sure they are working properly.
  • If using a fossil fuel for heating, install and maintain carbon monoxide (CO) alarms to avoid the risk of CO poisoning. Make sure your home has working smoke alarms as well.