People across the country are firing up their fireplaces and their furnaces to keep their families nice and warm. But before you heat your home, you need to know some basic fire safety tips.

Chimney sweep, on a roof, cleaning a chimney with a brush tool
If you have a fireplace and chimney, plan for annual inspections to keep them working smoothly. (DepositPhotos)

The Importance of Maintenance

For anything in your home, maintenance couldn’t be more important. So you should definitely have your fireplace and furnace inspected by professionals to make sure they’re safe to use.

A licensed chimney sweep should check out your fireplace and chimney, and a heating, ventilation and air conditioning technician should inspect your furnace or heat pump.

This isn’t a one-time thing. You need to get annual checks in the fall for optimal maintenance.

Also, if you want to supplement your heating system with a space heater, follow our tips on choosing the safest space heater. It should have a guard between the heating element and you; it also should have a thermostat and an anti-tip feature; and its safety should be certified by a laboratory.

Still, accidents happen, so always have a well-maintained fire extinguisher nearby.

Smoke detector
It’s better to be safe than sorry — install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and regularly test them.

Monitoring Your Home for Fires

When it comes to monitoring, install new batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms yearly. And replace smoke detectors if they are 10 years old or older.

Want to make practicing fire safety even easier? Some smoke and carbon monoxide alarms have lithium-ion batteries that last 10 years, which significantly reduces the amount of maintenance they require. Just mark the date of installation, regularly test them, and enjoy peace of mind.

Technology now can help you keep an ear on your home. The Kidde RemoteLync Monitor keeps your house safe from fire when you’re away from home.

Simply plug the RemoteLync Monitor into an electrical outlet, download the free app to your smartphone, and you will receive an alert whenever your smoke or carbon monoxide alarm sounds.

Not only is Rockwool insulation extremely resilient to fire, but it also works to contain fire and prevent its spread. (Rockwool)

Fire Safety Plus Energy Efficiency

Another fire safety tip you can tackle is to purchase and use fire-resistant insulation. It’s available for drywall, both for your walls and ceiling; but, also, a large area right above you is your attic.

Your attic insulation should be fire-resistant. If it isn’t, making the change is a smart investment in your home. 

Stone wool insulation from Rockwool is easy to cut and install. It will not only make your home safer and safer for your family by being more fire-resistant, it also will increase the energy efficiency of your home.

And when you’re looking at energy efficiency, look at the one system in your home that represents 13 percent of your total utility bill — that’s your water heater.

To reduce your household budget, consider replacing your water heater with a more energy-efficient type, such as a gas tankless model.

Read our article on Fire Safety Tips and Products for Your Home to find out more.

Editorial Contributors
Danny Lipford

Danny Lipford


Danny Lipford is a home improvement expert and television personality who started his remodeling business, Lipford Construction, at the age of 21 in Mobile, Alabama. He gained national recognition as the host of the nationally syndicated television show, Today's Homeowner with Danny Lipford, which started as a small cable show in Mobile. Danny's expertise in home improvement has also led him to be a contributor to popular magazines and websites and the go-to source for advice on everything related to the home. He has made over 200 national television appearances and served as the home improvement expert for CBS's The Early Show and The Weather Channel for over a decade. Danny is also the founder of 3 Echoes Content Studio,, and Checking In With Chelsea, a décor and lifestyle blog.

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