The Alaska Division of Fire and Life Safety is warning Alaskans to be careful when using alternative heat sources as cold weather arrives. A public service announcement this week says that more Alaskans are using wood and coal to heat their homes due to the rising cost of other heat sources.
“New technologies have improved the efficiency and safety of these old standby heat sources, but improper use and the failure to follow manufacturer guidelines can result in a disaster for the occupants of the home,” the warning says.
“Just as it is important to use dry seasoned wood in a woodstove to prevent the buildup of creosote in the chimney, it is just as important to check the moisture content in the type of coal that you are burning. Only use a grade of coal that is recommended by the manufacturer of your heating equipment and do not put coal in a heating device that is not recommended to burn coal. Make sure that your wood or coal burning stove has been tested and approved by a third party testing laboratory such as UL.”