Heating Fire Safety

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Staying Warm and Safe

During extremely cold temperatures, residents may heat their home with alternative sources to supplement a furnace. The Ankeny Fire Department along with the US Fire Administration offers the following heating tips to help maintain a fire-safe home:

Space Heaters, Furnaces and General Heating Safety
  • Place space heaters on a solid, flat surface, at least three feet away from anything that can burn.
  • Turn off space heaters when you leave the room or go to sleep.
  • Keep children and pets at least three feet from space heaters and open fires at all times.
  • Make sure your space heater has an automatic shut-off, so if it tips over, it shuts off.
  • Only use portable heaters from a recognized testing laboratory.
  • Check heaters for cracked or damaged cords and plugs.
  • Plug heaters directly into wall outlets, don’t use extension cords or power strips.
  • Have your furnace, heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected each year by a professional.
  • Make sure your outdoor furnace vents are clear of snow or debris. Blocked vents can trap fumes like carbon monoxide in your home.
  • Replace furnace filters according to manufacturer instructions.
  • Never use an oven to heat your home.
  • Keep anything that can burn away from your furnace.
  • Have a qualified professional install stationary space heating equipment, water heaters, or central heating equipment according to local codes and manufacturer instructions.
  • Install and maintain smoke detector and CO alarms.
  • If you smell gas in your gas heater, do not light the appliance. Leave the home immediately and call 9-1-1.
Fireplaces, Wood Stoves and Kerosene Heaters Safety
  • Have your chimney inspected or cleaned each year by a professional.
  • Make sure your fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room.
  • Do not burn paper in your fireplace.
  • Put fires out before you go to sleep or leave your home.
  • Put ashes in a metal container with a lid, outside, at least three feet from your home.
  • Make sure your wood stove or kerosene heater is three feet from anything that can burn.
  • Install wood burning stoves following manufacturer’s instructions or have a professional do the installation.
    • All fuel-burning equipment should be vented to the outside to avoid carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning.
    • Always use the right kind of fuel, specified by manufacturer, for fuel burning space heaters.
  • Only use kerosene heaters from a recognized testing laboratory.
  • Make sure your kerosene heater has an automatic shut-off, so if it tips over, it shuts off.
  • Refuel your cooled kerosene heater outside.

Extreme Weather Resources and Information

Polk County Emergency Management offers a large variety of resources for emergency preparedness.