Heating Safety

Think Safety First When Heating Your Home This Winter


Heating caused 6,692 fires over the past five years and is the number two cause of home fires in Massachusetts.  Use your home heating system and space heating appliances wisely and responsibly.

Wood stoves, pellet stoves, and other alternative heat sources can be valuable sources of warmth during the winter as long as they are used wisely.

For those going out and buying those items, it’s essential to purchase a wood or coal stove approved by Underwriter’s Laboratory or another recognized testing laboratory. They will also need to visit the building inspector's office to file for a permit and the installation itself must be inspected.

For those firing up the fireplace:

  • Chimneys and flues should be inspected annually. If cracks are present or joints are poor, heated gases and flames can extend into the house.
  • Use a fireplace screen. Flying sparks and embers can make their way to the floor.
  • Ensure smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are in proper working order.
  • Never leave children unattended near a fireplace or stove.
  • Ashes removed from stoves and fireplaces should be placed into a metal bucket with a metal lid and placed outside. The ashes and embers can remain hot for several days so it is important to keep them well away from combustibles including fences and your house.

Visit mass.gov for more information on Winter Heating Safety