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Heating Safety

The Alabama Department of Public Health urges you to follow these safety recommendations when trying to make a warm environment for your families:

  • Make sure space heaters carry the mark of an independent testing laboratory and are legal for use in your community.
  • Install your space heater according to manufacturer’s instructions or applicable codes, consider professional installation.
  • Plug your electric-powered space heater into an outlet with sufficient capacity and never into an extension cord.
  • Use the proper fuel as well as the proper grade for your liquid-fueled space heater. Refuel only in a well-ventilated area and when the equipment is cool.
  • In your fireplace or wood stove, use only dry, seasoned wood to avoid the build-up of creosote.
  • Use only paper or kindling wood, not a flammable liquid, to start the fire. Do not use artificial logs in wood stoves.
  • Make sure your fireplace has a sturdy screen to prevent sparks from flying into the room. Allow fireplace and woodstove ashes to cool before disposing in a metal container, which is kept a safe distance from your home.
  • 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 going to bed. Make sure your primary heating equipment for the bedrooms is sufficient to avoid risks to residents from severe cold.
  • Do not use your oven to heat your home.

Page last updated: May 13, 2021