We’re fortunate, living here in the high desert, to have a limited indoor heating season. Assignment reporter Dan Stork passes along some tips to stay safe when using fireplaces and other indoor heaters…
Here are winter heating tips from the San Bernardino County Fire Department. Change furnace filters early in the season. Keep space heaters at least three feet away from anything that burns. Turn them off when you’re away or in bed. The same goes for fireplace fires. Be sure vents aren’t blocked, especially floor vents. Never have an unvented gas heater in a bedroom or bathroom. Get your chimneys cleaned regularly and professionally, and be sure they have spark arresters. Don’t use a fireplace during high winds, especially with a wood shake roof. Fireplace screens should be big and sturdy. Store paper and kindling away from the fireplace, and store cooled ashes in a tightly sealed metal container. Never burn trash, paper, green wood, or Christmas trees in your fireplace. Be sure the flue is open before you start a fire, and keep it open until the fire is completely out. Never use a charcoal barbecue or heater indoors. Install, test, and maintain smoke detectors and fire extinguishers. Have an escape plan that the whole family knows about.

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