‚Äč From Our Big Bear Fire Department 

Safe Winter Heating






Big Bear Lake, CA__WINTER 2020__

The Big Bear Fire Department has some Hot Tips for Cold Weather to ensure safe winter heating. With the change in seasons in Big Bear Valley comes the need to warm our homes and businesses. Stay warm and safe during Winter months by following some simple tips.


Conventional Heating: Have a professional check and service your heating system each year.  Always keep combustibles away from heat sources. Check the manufacturer’s specifications for clearance distances.


Portable Heaters:  Purchase only those heaters bearing the seal of Underwriters Laboratory (UL), Factory Mutual (FM) or another nationally recognized testing laboratory. Always use heating appliances according to manufacturer’s specifications. Make sure electric cords are in good condition. Never leave a portable heater on when unattended and never use an oven to heat your home; it can introduce poisonous carbon monoxide within your home. 


Wood-Burning Stoves, Fireplaces, and Fireplace Inserts: Burn only dry, well-seasoned wood.  Make sure the damper is open prior to lighting. Never use flammable liquids or excessive amounts of paper to start or accelerate a fire. Keep a metal or glass screen in front of fireplace or stove openings and never leave a fire unattended. Have wood-burning stoves or fireplaces inspected and cleaned by a professional on an annual basis.


Smoke Detectors: Install and regularly maintain smoke detectors in the home per manufacturer’s instructions. Smoke detectors should provide coverage of sleeping areas and each level of the home. Test smoke detectors on a monthly basis and change the batteries twice a year. A good reminder is to do it when the time changes in Fall and    Spring.


Disposal of Ashes: Always dispose of ashes by placing them in a metal container with a tight-fitting lid. Never put ashes in paper bags or cardboard boxes. Ashes can retain heat, making them capable of igniting a fire for several days. Ashes should be thoroughly soaked to ensure they are extinguished. If ashes are disposed of at a public dumpsite, do not put them in the trash receptacle, but in the dumpster marked for ashes only.


Carbon Monoxide Safety: Know the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas, producing flu-like symptoms in its victims. Symptoms include severe headaches, dizziness, mental confusion, nausea and faintness. If carbon monoxide poisoning is suspected, get fresh air immediately and seek medical attention as soon as possible.  Carbon monoxide detectors should be placed in the home, near sleeping areas, and at the home’s conventional heating source. For proper operation, detectors should be installed and maintained per manufacturer’s instructions. 


In the unfortunate event of a fire, have an established family home escape plan.

Know two ways out of every room.

Establish a safe meeting place outside of the home.

After safety has been reached call 9-1-1 to report the fire.

Once out, never go back inside!

For additional information on this or other fire and life safety topics, contact Big Bear Fire Department at www.bigbearfire.org or (909) 866-7566.