As the Florida heat begins to subside the time to layer up and maybe even started warming up our homes has begun. Whether you choose to use a fireplace, space heater, or candles to make your home more comfortable we encourage you to exercise caution. According to the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA) home heating equipment is one of the leading causes of house fires in the US. In a study conducted by the NFPA from 2014 to 2018 they found that space heaters were responsible for 44% of home fires in the US, and fireplaces accounted for 29%. Housewarming equipment is wonderful during the cold months, but please remember to be careful. Check out the following tips below that can help you brush up on how to use housewarming equipment safely: 

  • Space Heaters: space heaters can be a super convenient way to warm up the room. However, they can easily become a safety hazard if not used properly. According to the New York Times, in order to protect your home, always be sure to keep your space heater on the floor and keep anything that could burn at least three feet away from it. Make sure to never leave the device on while you are not in the room to monitor it. It might overheat, fall over, or cause damage if you are not there to catch it. The New York Times also recommends when picking out a space heater it is best to go with one that has an auto-shut off after it reaches a certain temperature and has been approved by a safety testing laboratory.  
  • Fireplaces: You should always keep your electric heaters clean and well maintained, the same goes for your fireplace. Ready.gov recommends that your chimney is cleaned and inspected once a year by a professional and checked regularly for blockages and damage. As well as to use a fireplace screen once your fire is going to prevent sparks from jumping onto something flammable. Finally, as always never leave a fire unattended while it is burning until it is completely out.  
  • Candles: few things can create as nice of an ambiance as candles. They can be both functional and decorative. According to the NFPA, place candles on a sturdy surface or candle stick that cannot be easily knocked over. Allow at least one foot of space between candles and any flammable items. When a candle is burning never leave it unsupervised. If not watched carefully it could burn too close to its container or get knocked over.  

At Brooks LeBoeuf we hope that you and your loved ones stay warm and safe this winter. To see the New York Times about space heaters we referenced Click Here. To read the Ready.Gov page on Home Fires where we found our information on fireplace safety Click Here. To explore more on candle safety, Click Here to see the NFPA’s flyer on candles. To learn more about the house fire study conducted by the NFPA Click Here. To read more of our blog posts Click Here.