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.