Never use gas camping equipment, barbecues or tent heaters indoors. This equipment is not connected to a chimney, so any carbon monoxide it produces simply goes into the air you breathe, often with deadly results. The province’s fire marshal is asking Nova Scotians to use cautionif using space heaters in their homes. Supplemental heatingdevices continue to be a leading cause of fire and carbon monoxidepoisoning. “Many people use supplemental heating sources during a poweroutage or to help keep home heating costs down, but unsafe use ofthese devices could turn tragic,” says Robert Cormier, NovaScotia’s fire marshal. “These devices carry a much greater risk ofcausing home fires and should be handled with care.” Mr. Cormier says there is an increased risk with space heatersbecause people do not always use them properly. Improper useincludes leaving them too close to mattresses, bedding, clothing,upholstered furniture or other combustible materials, or failingto install, fuel, operate or maintain them properly. A recent study released by the National Fire ProtectionAssociation in the United States, showed 220 people were killed inan estimated 54,900 home heating equipment fires in the U.S. in2001. Five of the most widely used types of portable or fixed spaceheaters include room gas heaters, portable kerosene heaters,portable electric heaters, wood stoves or fireplaces with inserts,and built-in or other fixed electric heaters. The first three havethe highest risk of deaths and injuries, including non-firerelated deaths due to carbon monoxide. Solid-fuelled spaceheaters, such as wood stoves, usually involve the highest risk ofproperty damage from fire. Portable kerosene heaters have thehighest risk of fire death. The U.S. agency says the major causes of home heating firesinclude: –fueling errors involving liquid or gas-fueled heating equipment. Any type of heating equipment can be used safely if you followthese simple rules and recommendations: failure to give space heaters space, by installing or placing them too close to combustible materials or placing combustibles too close to them; Have any heating device installed with proper attention to ventilation. If gas space heaters or fireplaces are used in bedrooms or bathrooms, make sure they are small and that they take their combustion air from outdoors. Canadian fire safety codes prohibit indoor use of propane gas heaters with self-contained fuel supplies. When buying a new space heater, make sure it carries the mark of an independent testing laboratory. Be sure to have fixed space heaters installed by a certified technician according to the manufacturer’s instructions and applicable codes. Have wood and coal stoves, fireplaces, chimneys, chimney connectors and all other solid-fuelled heating equipment inspected by a professional annually, and cleaned as often as the inspections suggest. lack of regular cleaning, leading to creosote buildup in wood- burning devices and associated chimneys and connectors; ENVIRONMENT/LABOUR–Fire Marshal Urges Caution With HeatingChoices basic flaws in construction, design or installation of wood- burning heating equipment; and Allow appropriate clearing from combustibles for all space heaters, usually at least 36 inches (91 centimetres). Follow manufacturer’s instructions when turning a heater on or off. When buying heaters, look for devices with automatic shutoff features. More information on heating devices, is available at the Office ofthe Fire Marshal, 902-424-5721.