Fall/Winter heating system safety tips

As the temperature goes from warm to cool, your fire department receives requests for information about heating systems. 

The number one tip is this: Working smoke alarms save lives and are inexpensive to replace. Replace your batteries or replace your smoke alarm if it is over 10 years old. 

Smoke Alarms

Here are some more tips to help you heat your space safely.

Central Heating System

Have your central heating system cleaned, inspected and serviced by a certified HVAC (heating, venting and air conditioning) contractor every year before using it.

If you have a natural gas or oil furnace, make sure that you have fully functioning carbon monoxide detectors installed in your home. One near the furnace and one outside the bedrooms. 

Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Electric Space Heater
  • Make sure that any space heaters are surrounded by at least three feet of empty space to avoid fires.
  • Do not place clothing or any other objects on a space heater to dry.
  • Never place space heaters near furniture or drapery.
  • Turn space heaters off or purchase one with a built-in timer when you leave the house or go to bed.
  • Do not store any combustible items near heaters.
  • Have your chimney inspected each year to make sure that it is safe.
  • Repair any cracks in fireplaces.
  • Have a chimney sweep clean out your chimney every fall.
  • Use fireplace screens to keep sparks and fire debris inside the fireplace.
  • Never leave a fire unattended.
  • Be sure that combustible materials are not stored within three feet of your fireplace.
  • For natural gas fireplaces, have all connections and lines inspected before use each season.


West Vancouver Fire & Rescue