Heating Safety

Heating Equipment Smarts

All fuel-burning equipment should be vented to the outside to avoid carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. Install and maintain CO alarms to avoid the risk of CO poisoning. If you smell gas in your gas heater, do do not light the appliance. Leave the home immediately and call 911.

Install wood burning stoves following the manufacturer’s instructions or have a professional do the installation.

  1. When buying a new space heater, make sure it carries the mark of an independent testing laboratory (e.g. ULC, CSA).
  2. Have a professional install your stationary (fixed) space heater according to manufacturer’s instructions.
  3. Plug your electric-powered space heater into an outlet with sufficient capacity and never into an extension cord.
  4. Use the proper grade of the proper fuel for your liquid-fuelled space heater, and never use gasoline in any heater not approved for gasoline use. Refuel only in a well-ventilated area and when the equipment is cool.
  5. Use only dry, seasoned wood in your fireplace or wood stove to avoid the build-up of creosote, an oily deposit that easily catches fire and accounts for most chimney fires and the largest share of home heating fires generally. Use only paper or kindling wood, not a flammable liquid, to start the fire. Do not use artificial logs in wood stoves.
  6. Make sure your fireplace has a sturdy screen to prevent sparks from flying into the room. Allow fireplace and wood stove ashes to cool before disposing in a metal container, which is kept a safe distance from your home.
  7. Turn off space heaters whenever the room they are in is unoccupied or under circumstances when manufacturer’s instructions say they should be turned off. Portable space heaters are so easy to knock over in the dark that they should be turned off when you go to bed.
  8. Do not use your oven to heat your home.
  9. Make sure fuel-burning equipment is vented to the outside, the venting is kept clear and unobstructed, and the exit point is properly sealed around the vent.  This is to prevent deadly carbon monoxide from building up in the home.
  10. Inspect all heating equipment annually, and clean as necessary.