Things to know before turning your heater on

HELENA – If you haven’t turned on your furnace yet, then these next couple of days could be your breaking point as the cold weather is on its way.  

With fuel burning appliances, the Helena Fire Marshall says to make sure you’ve had them inspected. Now is the time to call a licensed contractor to have them take a look at it. Also, making sure the vent is clear from anything loose or that could possibly fall on it.  

“The biggest thing with space heaters is, or with any heating unit is to make sure you provide that three-foot space around those heating units so that you don't have combustibles there, so something doesn't get burned," says Lou Antonick the Helena Fire Marshall. 

You might also be lighting a fire in the fireplace. But before you start enjoying the fire, you should know what no to burn in it. Burning things like trash and paper can cause it to build up and get a lot of creosote lining in the chimney.  

“It should just be dry good wood that you are burning in that wood stove,” says Antonick. The biggest piece is having that wood stove checked out, having the chimney checked out and making sure that everything is in place and it's fully operational and that it's been cleaned." 

The Fire Marshall also stressed the importance of having an escape plan. Second graders from across Lewis and Clark County are learning this through fire prevention week. Make sure you have two ways out of the house, have a meeting place, practice it and most importantly call 911.  

If you ever have any questions about anything, Antonick says to please call the Helena or your local fire department. They would be happy to answer any of your questions. If you have any kiddos coming home from fire prevention week, Antonick says to take the time and listen to them and help develop those plans.  

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