Skip to main content

Heating Appliance Safety - October 18, 2022

McKinleyville, CA - At this time of year, as the nights start to get cold, it is not uncommon for heater and furnace related fire incidents to occur.  It is important for people to be aware that heating equipment may operate automatically.

Often occupants think a furnace has been turned off because they have adjusted the thermostat to the lowest setting.  This does not turn the furnace off; rather the furnace is set to a low temperature setting. When the temperature gets cold, the furnace activates. 

Dog lying next to a floor heater

Your firefighters remind you to be cautious when using any type of heating appliance, and to recognize the features of thermostat controlled furnaces. 

Some safety tips that apply to all types of heating appliances:

  • Do not place floor coverings, clothing, or furniture over floor furnaces.
  • Move combustibles away from floor and wall furnaces. This includes furniture.
  • Have your furnace cleaned and serviced to ensure safe and efficient operation.
  • Inspect the walls and ceiling near the furnace or heater; if the wall is hot to the touch or discolored, discontinue use immediately, and have the appliance checked.
  • If you heat with wood, move combustibles at least 36” away from the stove or fireplace. Again, this applies to furniture as well.
  • Never discard hot ashes inside or near the home. Place them in a metal container outside and well away from the house or other buildings.
  • Have your stove pipe, chimney, or flue cleaned and inspected prior to use.

The Arcata Fire Protection District is hoping to avoid furnace, heater, and woodstove fires this year, and in the future, by reminding our communities of these steps to help make the use of such appliances safe.

For additional information, facts, and tips, on heating safety, please visit our website at


Join our mailing list