The Las Cruces Fire Department wants this winter to be a safe one for all and is offering these safety tips for the proper use of home heating systems, fireplaces and wood-burning stoves.
  • Fireplaces, wood stoves and furnaces should be installed according to manufacturer’s instructions and in accordance with all building codes.
  • Have your heating system, water heater, stove and other fuel-burning appliances serviced by a qualified technician at least once a year.
  • Change heating furnace filters often to increase efficiency and avoid overworking the system.
  • Ensure adequate ventilation for fireplaces and wood stoves.
  • Use only the fuel that’s recommended for the specific fireplace or stove.
  • Do not burn paper or paper products in a fireplace or wood-burning stove.
  • Check chimney or stovepipes often for creosote buildup and clean when needed.
  • Keep matches and lighters out of the reach of children.
  • Use a metal container for removing ash and coals.
  • Never dump hot ashes or coals into a dumpster or trash can.
  • Operate portable heaters according to manufacturer’s specifications and keep them, candles and cigarettes away from bedding, curtains and other combustibles.
  • Never use a portable heater near bathtubs, showers or other water sources.
  • Keep Christmas trees, decorations, furniture and other potentially combustible items away from fireplaces, wood-burning stoves and portable heaters.
  • Extinguish fireplaces, candles, stoves, and turn off all decorative lights prior to leaving home.
  • Install a battery-operated carbon monoxide detector in your home.
  • Never use generators, grills, camp stoves, chimineas or similar devices indoors.
  • Keep a multipurpose, dry-chemical fire extinguisher in the home and know how to use it.
  • Call 911 and vacate the building immediately if you smell gas, toxic fumes or in case of fire.
For more safety tips visit the Las Cruces Fire Department online at