Heating Safety This Winter

Posted On: November 8, 2021

Chris Shirley

Nationwide, Fall is giving way to winter and temperatures are dropping quickly. As families turn to the thermostats, it’s worth mentioning heating safety this winter. Each year, millions rely on space heaters to keep warm. More often than not, space heaters are a fine way to keep warm. However, space heaters are responsible for more than 25,000 fires each year and more than 300 deaths.

If you are considering using a space heater this winter:

  • First, residents should check with property managers to see if any policies are in place.
  • Second, managers should remind residents of any on-site rules regarding space heaters.
  • Third, it is important to identify the safest place in your home to use a heater.
  • Finally, any heater used on multi-family properties should have a switch that turns it off in case in flips over.

Consumer Reports shares a full rundown on using space heaters safely this winter.

Heating Safety: Have you checked your smoke detectors?

Moreover, now that we are talking heating safety, it is a wonderful time to remind residents to check their smoke detectors. As temperatures fall, the number of residential fires rises significantly. According to The University of Notre Dame, roughly three out of five deaths in fires happen in homes with no working smoke detectors.

Managers as the time and season changes, remember HUD requires an annual inspection of all smoke detectors on your properties. Please See HUD 4350.1 Chapter 35 for more on these requirements. Also, please remind your residents to check their smoke detectors, and be prepared to replace any detectors that may need it. If you don’t stay on top of fire prevention like detection devices and fire extinguishers it could negatively impact your next REAC Inspection.

So, how do you know if it is time to replace a smoke detector or add additional devices for heating safety?

  • First, all smoke detectors should be replaced every ten years.
  • Second, make sure all smoke alarms are on the ceiling or high on the walls. They should be kept 10 feet from the kitchen or stove to prevent false alarms.
  • Third, make sure every bedroom or sleeping area has a working smoke alarm.


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