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How-to guide to heating your home safely

Posted at 7:54 AM, Dec 01, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-01 09:55:14-05

With temperatures getting into the low 30's, you're going to want to turn on your fireplace or crank up the furnace. But before you do, follow these quick steps from Tucson Fire Department to avoid a fire sparking in your home.


  • Change your filter 3-4 times per year, especially right before you turn the furnace on for the first time this winter.
  • Don't be alarmed if there's a slight burning smell when you first turn the furnace on. 
  • Vacuum any lint buildup away from the area surrounding the furnace. 


  • Make sure your chimney is clear of any obstructions before starting a fire.
  • Open the damper so smoke goes up and out and not into your home.
  • Do not burn newspaper or magazine pages because the ink can release toxic chemicals.
  • Close the screen to stop embers from flying out of the fireplace especially if you are planning on leaving the room while the fire is going.

Space heater:

  • Never sleep while your space heater is running or leave it unattended.
  • Keep your space heater three feet away from anything combustible (i.e. rugs, bedding, holiday decorations)
  • Always plug your heater directly into a wall plug. An extension cord raises the risk for sparks.

Christmas tree:

  • Replace any missing bulbs on light strands.
  • Only string three strands of lights together at once. Run a new extension cord up the tree every three strands.