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Madison Fire Department
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Safety & Prevention

Home Heating Safety Tips

In the US, heating sources are one of the leading causes of residential fires, and with colder weather on the way, many Madison residents will be turning on heating systems that have not been used since Spring.

Most fires involving furnaces take place at night when people are asleep. As such the most important step in home heating safety is to make sure your smoke alarms are in working condition. Wisconsin state law requires a smoke alarm on each floor level, and one should also be installed in the area adjacent to your furnace.

The next most important step in home heating safety is to make sure that your furnace is operating properly and safely, and furnace flues, pipes, and chimneys should be inspected as well. Madison Gas and Electric, Alliant Energy, or a heating contractor should be contacted if you have questions or problems regarding the heating unit in your home. In homes with gas furnaces, carbon monoxide detectors are strongly recommended.

Finally, filters should be changed at the beginning of the heating season and then checked monthly to make sure there is adequate air flow.

For additional information on specific heating equipment go to:

Get Burn Wise, Dane County! As temperatures drop and autumn leaves fall, Dane County residents are beginning to start the first fires of the home heating season. The Dane County Clean Air Coalition wants to remind residents of steps they can take to reduce fine particles and other emissions that pollute the air. By learning how to burn wisely, residents who use wood stoves or fireplaces for heat can reduce their emissions from wood burning to protect their homes, their health and the air we all breathe, while reducing heating costs and staying comfortable this winter. For more information visit

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Burn Wise Program:
Burn Wise is a partnership program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that emphasizes the importance of burning the right wood, the right way, in the right wood-burning appliance to protect your home, health and the air we breathe. Within this site you will find information for consumers to make informed decisions about what it means to burn wise. For more information visit