Seventy percent of home fires in winter are caused by malfunctioning or poorly maintained heaters. Here’s how you can prevent this happening to you.
Have Your Furnace Checked
Having a professional check your furnace gives you peace-of-mind that your system is running efficiently. The heating repairman will also ensure that all connections are tight and the system isn’t showing signs of wear.
Making sure everything is in good working order before it’s needed will save you time and money and may be critical to your family’s safety.
Clear the Furnace and Vents
Before you operate the furnace, make sure there are no cardboard boxes, newspapers, rags, and other flammable materials near your heating system. Make sure the same is true of your vents. A blocked airway or poorly ventilated furnace can transform an otherwise meaningless spark into a large blaze.
Anything that is flammable should be kept at least three feet away from heating equipment including fireplaces, furnaces, space heaters, and wood stoves.
Clean the Chimney
If you have a chimney, you need to have it cleaned once a year. Because Floridians don’t use them often, it’s possible a small animal has built a nest in yours, especially if the top screen has become dislodged in a storm.
Creosote can also build up within an uncleaned chimney and cause fires. Have a professional check your chimney before using it for the first time this winter.
Beware of Other Heat Sources
Just because something is a heat source does not mean you should use it to heat your home. When frigid temps arrive and furnaces give out, some people are tempted to use equipment like ovens to stay warm. This is extraordinarily dangerous.
If you have a heating emergency and need your furnace fixed, call the heating professionals for fast repair. Do not turn to makeshift heat sources.
Turn Portable Heaters Off
Turn portable space heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed. There is no reason to heat a room you’re not in and it’s impossible to notice a fire hazard while you’re sleeping. The same goes for candles. Never leave either of these items unattended.
Space heaters account for about 80% of home heating fire deaths each year. Using them properly, and turning them off when they’re not being monitored, is critical to not becoming a statistic.
Change Batteries on Your Smoke Detector
The fire department reminds us to change the batteries in our smoke detectors when the time changes twice a year. If you haven’t done so, change those batteries when you turn on your furnace for the first time. Heating equipment fires are a major cause of home fires. Make sure your family is alerted to a fire as soon as possible by changing the batteries in your smoke detector and testing it monthly. Maintaining a good alert system is crucial to getting out of the home safely.
If you’d like to ensure your furnace is in good operating order, contact the AC repair and heating professionals at Easy A/C today.