Exercising Caution with Alternative Heat

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Everyone wants to keep their homes and workspaces warm during the winter.  In an effort to keep heating costs down, many residents and employees will turn to alternative heat sources, such as fireplaces, wood-burning stoves and portable space heaters.

When used and maintained as directed, these methods can effectively warm your home or office.  However, there is also an inherent danger, as heating equipment is the leading cause of home fires during the winter months.

In 2006, fires started by heating equipment caused more than $940 million in direct property damage.  Portable space heaters were responsible for nearly one-third of these fires.  Some authorities believe the public is at an increased risk of alternative heating fires this year as residents search for ways to cut heating bills in tough economic times.