Keep Warm

Think safety first when heating your home this winter!
Heating is the #2 cause of home fires in Massachusetts, causing over 14,000 fires over the
past five years. Use your home heating system and space heating appliances wisely and
responsibly. That’s the way to…Keep Warm - Keep Safe.
Make sure there are working smoke alarms on every level including one outside the
Test smoke and carbon monoxide alarms monthly and change batteries twice a year,
when you change the clocks.
Hold home fire drills to practice the home escape plan.
Practice home fire safety and set a good example for the children.
If you heat your home by burning solid fuels (coal, firewood, pellets), be careful before, during
and after using these kinds of fuels.
Have the chimney professionally cleaned every year.
Make sure the stove is approved by a national testing agency such as Underwriter’s
Laboratory (UL).
Get a building permit before installing a stove.
Keep anything that can burn three feet away.
Dispose of the ashes in a metal container, with a lid, away from the house, garage and
Fires caused by space heaters are rare but often deadly. If you must use a space heater, do
so safely.
Do not use space heaters as your #1 heating source.
Keep anything that can burn three feet away.
Use only heavy-duty extension cords.
Always turn off when going to bed or leaving home.
Portable kerosene heaters are illegal in MA for home use.
Natural gas is a safe and efficient way to cook, heat our homes and hot water.
Have your furnace and hot water heater professionally checked every year.
Do not use or store gasoline or painting supplies inside where they can be ignited by the
pilot light.
Gas leaks can be dangerous – if you smell something like rotten eggs or you think there
might be a leak,
Move outdoors.
Do not smoke or turn on or off electrical switches - sparks can cause an explosion.
Dial 911 immediately.
Home heating with fuel oil is also safe and efficient.
Have your furnace professionally cleaned and checked every year.
Don’t let the tank get completely empty.
Call for service if the oil burner releases smoke or soot in the house.
Heating equipment is the leading source of carbon monoxide (CO) in the home.
Install carbon monoxide alarms on every level of your home.
Don’t use the gas stove or oven for heat
Have furnaces and chimneys checked annually by a professional.
Keep appliance vents and exhaust pipes clear of drifting snow and bushes.
For information on fuel assistance, please call the HEATLINE at 1-800-632-8175 (or for
Boston only 617-357-6012) or on-line at
For further information go to: