As the weather starts to cool down, it is important to start thinking about taking care of your home for the colder fall months and into the winter. It is important to make sure that your furnace, fireplace, and space heaters are in good working order so that you and your home stay safe this winter. There are a few safety precautions you should take to prevent fire hazards in your home this winter.

Central Heating System

Getting your central heating system and vents cleaned can ensure that you are sufficiently heating your home and there is no debris or unwanted dust collecting in the vents. When the dust and debris start to collect heavily in certain parts of the ducts, it can become a fire hazard. Cleaning your ducts can also help to reduce your energy bills because your furnace doesn’t have to work as hard to heat your home.

For the safety of your family, your home, and maintaining a healthy clean air living environment, the National Air Duct Cleaners Association recommends getting your home’s air ducts cleaned every 3 to 5 years. Depending on the circumstances in your home and the amount of dust regularly circulating throughout the air, it could be wise to get them cleaned more often. A very important time to consider duct cleaning is post-construction or post-renovation of your home.

Remember to keep all flammable materials away from your furnace. Do not use your furnace room for storage because cardboard boxes are a common culprit of furnace fires.


Fireplaces are involved in thousands of home fires each year. Whether you have a gas or wood-burning fireplace, you should have your chimney examined for defects before the weather starts to cool down. Creosote is the leftover buildup that smoke leaves behind. This substance can collect in your chimney and become a fire hazard. Cracks in your fireplace can cause carbon monoxide to seep into your home. It is important to have carbon monoxide detectors placed throughout your home in preparation for a poisonous carbon monoxide invasion.

All fireplaces should have an appropriate screen or glass enclosure in front of the flames to prevent sparks from flying out For the safety of you and your family, the screen will also help to keep small children and pets out. When burning wood, never overfill the hearth with too much wood. This could cause the fire to become out of control for the size of your chimney.

Space Heaters

To avoid a fire hazard, your space heaters should be surrounded by 3 feet of empty space on all sides. Do not place space heaters near furniture or blankets and always remember to turn off and unplug the heaters when you go to sleep or leave the house. Space heaters should never be left unattended in your home.

ServiceMaster by Rice is Here to Help

ServiceMaster provides fire restoration services to both residential and commercial properties in Central Iowa. If your property is affected by a fire, you can trust the experts at ServiceMaster by Rice to be there to help! We specialize in furniture, carpet, cabinets, ceilings, walls, floors, and soft goods restoration as well as structural restoration in Central Iowa. Our crews have experience working on many large fire losses across Iowa. For any additional questions about the types of services that we provide, contact us today.