Now that autumn has arrived in Philadelphia you can be sure that old man winter is just around the corner. Although projections are for a warmer winter this year, we must still direct our attention to the subject of Winter Fire Safety.

If you have not had your chimney swept in recent memory this is a good time to have a professional take care of this for you and your family. The key benefit will be to help insure that harmful carbon monoxide is safely removed from the home, but it will also help with the home heating bill. While you’re at it, have your burner serviced and cleaned for peak efficiency and additional cost saving along with the safety benefits

With energy prices expected to increase many Philadelphians will find it difficult to heat there homes with the whole house unit and will utilize a variety of portable heaters to bridge the gap. These heaters are typically called “space “heaters and as the name implies they need space. A minimum distance of 3 feet from anything else is required to keep the heater from igniting another object. This includes walls and people. Falling asleep in front of a space heater can be very dangerous, particularly for those with reduced sensation in their extremities such as diabetics

When using an electric heater, make sure it is (UL) listed. Never us an extension cord because it might overheat and cause a fire And never, ever cover the cord with a throw rug or anything else since this will also lead to overheating

If you decide to use a kerosene heater follow the manufactures instructions and observe the three foot rule mentioned earlier. Use only kerosene, never gasoline. Don’t forget to have good ventilation so the fumes and carbon monoxide are exhausted from the home. Never try to fill a kerosene heater while it is hot. Store your kerosene can outdoors, away from the building and fill the heater after it has cooled off

Take care that children and pets do not have access to heaters and do not use them for cooking or for heating pots of water which may become a scalding hazard

Safely used, space heaters can be helpful in maintaining a comfortable temperature in your home. However, always remember to turn them off when leaving the home and at bedtime. An extra blanket is a far safer way to stay warm throughout the night. Plan and practice a home fire drill. And as always, make sure you have at least one smoke alarm on every level and a carbon monoxide alarm within 15 feet of each bedroom door. Install, Inspect, Protect


  • Check all window and door locks for proper operation
  • Review your fire escape plan with your family
  • Make sure there are working nightlights at the top and bottom of all stairs
  • Have a heating professional check your heating system
  • Replace your furnace filter
  • Run all gas-powered lawn equipment until the fuel is gone
  • Test your emergency generator
  • Have a certified chimney sweep inspect and clean the flues and check your fireplace damper
  • Remove any bird nests from chimney flues and outdoor electrical fixtures
  • Inspect and clean dust from the covers of your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms

 Halloween Safety Tips for Your Children

Remember - When you're dressing up your kids for Halloween, make sure you do the following:

  • Keep candles and jack-o-lanterns away from areas where children might brush against the flame
  • Avoid baggy or oversized costumes to prevent contact with exposed candles or flames
  • Use costumes made with flame-resistant fabrics