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Winter takes it time arriving in Redlands, but once those temperatures finally drop we are eager to build that first fire in the fireplace or turn up the thermostat on the heater and get our homes toasty and warm.

Redlands Fire Marshall Philip Gairson encourages Redlanders to be cautious, however, when heating their homes.

“Half of home heating fires are reported in December, January and February, and heating equipment is one of the leading causes of home fire deaths,” he says. “I encourage all Redlanders to keep their homes safe this winter by following these safety tips.”

  • Keep anything that can burn at least three-feet away from heating equipment, like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove, or portable space heater.
  • Have a three-foot “kid-free zone” around open fires and space heaters.
  • Never use your oven to heat your home.
  • Have a qualified professional install stationary space heating equipment, water heaters or central heating equipment according to the local codes and manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional.
  • Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.
  • Always use the right kind of fuel, specified by the manufacturer, for fuel burning space heaters.
  • Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room. Ashes should be cool before putting them in a metal container. Keep the container a safe distance away from your home.
  • Test smoke alarms monthly.

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