Safe at home: 5 home fire safety tips and how to protect your family from home heating fires

Long, cold fall and winter nights are the perfect time to relax at home in front of a cozy fire. Unfortunately, this time of the year is also when the frequency of home heating fires increases, especially in December, January, and February.

Here are some quick tips from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) on what you can do to stay safe and protect your family:

Smoke detector1. Test your smoke alarms at least once a month. You should place smoke alarms inside each bedroom, outside each sleeping area, and on every level of the home.

2. Install carbon monoxide detectors outside sleeping areas and on every level of your home, and test them regularly.

3. Have a qualified professional clean and inspect your heating equipment—fireplaces, wood stoves, furnaces, and chimneys at least once a year.

4. Turn off portable heaters when you leave a room or before you go to sleep. Use space heaters with an automatic shut off.

5. If you use a portable fireplace, take care to place it on a firm surface away from table edges or other furniture. Store ethanol fuel in a closed container, away from the fireplace and out of your children’s reach. Use a utility lighter or long wooden match to light the fire, and never pour fuel on an already-lit fire or into a fireplace that’s not completely cool to the touch.

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Headquartered in Boston, Bunker Hill Insurance provides home insurance to customers in Massachusetts and Connecticut. Bunker Hill is a member of The Plymouth Rock Group of Companies, which together write and manage over $1 billion in homeowners and auto insurance throughout the northeast.