FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, January 08, 2018



TRENTON, NJ – The New Jersey Department of Community Affairs’ Division of Fire Safety reminds residents to take precautions when heating their home in the winter. 

During cold weather, the use of home heating devices, and the possibility of long-term power failures resulting from severe storms, can increase the possibility of fire as well as carbon monoxide poisoning. 

Here are some tips to assist residents in keeping themselves and their loved ones safe during the winter home heating season: 


  • Maintain heating equipment and chimneys by having them cleaned and inspected each year by a professional. 


  • Make certain your heater has an Oxygen Depletion Sensor (ODS). ODS sensors are found in units made after 1984 and will turn off the heater if it senses high levels of carbon monoxide.
  • Look for an independent lab label such as UL, which set minimum safety standards for manufacture.
  • Make sure the device has a protective grill in front of the heating element, which is the part that glows.
  • Turn the heater off when you leave the room.
  • Enforce the “3 Foot Rule” with young children. Keep them at least 3 feet away.
  • Keep bedding, curtains, and clothing 3 feet away from the heater, as well.
  • Plug directly into wall outlets. Never use with a household extension cord. Make sure the device has a “tip over” switch that turns the heater off if it’s knocked over. 

The most effective defense in preventing a fire emergency continues to be a working smoke and CO alarm on every level of the home, coupled with a family escape plan. 

Consumers should also know that by law, New Jersey kerosene heaters are banned in all commercial establishments and multiple unit dwellings. Further, there may be local ordinances that prohibit their use. It is best to check with your local municipal fire official in those circumstances before purchasing one. 

The Division of Fire Safety serves as the central fire service agency in the State. The Division is responsible for the development and enforcement of the State Uniform Fire Code, as well as for implementing community risk reduction and firefighter training programs. 

For more home heating tips, visit:


Tammori Petty
Lisa Ryan
(609) 292-6055