FEMA: The Dangers of Portable Fireplaces

Image courtesy of Surachai / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Surachai / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Portable fuel-burning fireplaces have become popular in recent years as a way to create ambiance and warmth around your home. Whether used indoor or outdoor, portable fireplaces can be dangerous.  If not used properly, the fuel and open flame pose a serious fire hazard. Heating equipment is one of the leading causes of home fires in the winter months.Half of all home heating fires occur in December, January and February.

Before you cozy up to one of these appliances here are a few tips for staying safe while using fuel-fired portable fireplaces

  • Check with your local fire marshal before using fuel-fired portable heaters. Many cities and towns do not permit them;
  • Get a carbon monoxide alarm if using a portable heater with fuel. Fuel- fired portable heaters produce carbon monoxide;
  • Take the fuel-fired portable heater outside for refueling;
  • Do not use fuel-fired portable heaters in a bedroom or bathroom that is not well vented; and
  • Don’t pour fuel in a device that is lit or not completely cool.

As with all heating equipment, space is important! Create a “safe zone” around the device by keeping children, pets and anything that can burn at least three feet away.

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