Second to only cooking, home heating is the second leading cause of home fires. From 2013-2015, nearly 46,000 home heating fires occurred in the U.S. annually. These fires caused an annual average of approximately 205 deaths and $506 million in property loss.

According to the U.S. Fire Administration, these fires peak in January and occur most frequently between the hours of 5-9p. Follow these tips to ensure safety in your home this winter:

– Never use an oven or stove top to heat your home.

– Have chimneys and vents cleaned and inspected by a qualified professional at least once a year.

– Always use a metal or heat-tempered glass screen when using your fireplace.

– Keep wood stove doors closed unless adding wood or pellets or stoking the fire.
– Plug space heaters directly into wall outlets. Never use an extension cord or power strip.

– Make sure your space heater has an automatic shut-off. If it tips over, it must shut off.

-Keep anything that can burn three feet away from all heating equipment, including fireplaces, wood stoves or space heaters.

People are at a greater risk of home fire in the winter season when they cook holiday meals, display decorations, and use unsafe heat sources. Stay safe this winter season.