Here are some statistics to think about when heating your home this winter:
• 905 people die in winter home fires each year.
• $2,091,000,000 in property loss occurs from winter home fires.
• 67 percent of winter fires occur in one- and two-family homes.
• Cooking is the leading cause of all winter home fires.
• 5 to 8 p.m. is the most common time for winter home fires.
Source: National Fire Incident Reporting System 2009-2011
Below is a list of things you should do before starting your chimney for the season:
• Have the chimney checked by a chimney professional.
• Know how to operate the fireplace or stove.
• Have the right hearth tools and equipment.
• Check your home's fire safety equipment.
For the sake of fire safety, have your chimney checked at least once each year by a chimney professional. Your chimney professional will check to see if the chimney requires cleaning, and will also check for unsafe conditions in the chimney.
Also view the following attachments on heating safety provided by USFA/FEMA