Heating Season Is Here: Fire Chief Advises Caution

Northwest Iowa — Our recent trip into the single digits overnight serves as a reminder that we have definitely entered the heating season in northwest Iowa. And with that, should come a focus on safety, according to one area fire chief.

Orange City Fire Chief Denny Vander Wel says a number of safety issues arise — because basically home heating is a controlled fire inside your home.

Vander Wel says he knows that finances are tight due to COVID and other factors, and people may turn to wood-burning stoves and fireplaces for heat. But he says there are some special concerns with that fuel.

Vander Wel says you also need to be careful with ashes from a fireplace or wood burner. He says they need to go in a separate metal garbage can that you put outside, not in your garage. He says they’ve had garage fires that were started by fireplace ashes.

Here are some other tips that Vander Wel gave us:

· Keep anything that can burn at least three feet from any heat source like fireplaces, wood stoves, radiators, or space heaters.
· Plug only one heat-producing appliance (such as a space heater) into an electrical outlet at a time.
· Never use an oven to heat your home
· Turn space heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.