Heating is the second leading cause of home fires, surpassed only by cooking. Home heating fires can result in devastating losses, injuries and even death. Keep your house, your family and yourself safe with these helpful tips.
Keep up with furnace maintenance
Regular HVAC maintenance is one of the best ways to prevent accidents from occurring. During your appointment, your equipment goes through control checks to ensure it’s working safely and is cleaned thoroughly to prevent buildup that can lead to fires. Carbon monoxide levels are also checked.
Test your detectors
Speaking of carbon monoxide, you should have both carbon monoxide and smoke detectors installed on every floor of your home at a minimum. Be sure to check that these detectors are functioning correctly and change the batteries periodically. These detectors could save your life by alerting you of problems with your furnace, such as a carbon monoxide leak, before you are harmed.
Change your filter
Change your filter every 2-3 months, or more often depending on the type of filter and the equipment that you have. A filter that has collected too much debris or dust can cause your furnace to overheat and catch on fire.
Clean up the space around the equipment
Keep anything that could catch on fire or melt away from your heating equipment. Pay special attention to remove extremely flammable items such as paper, wood, cardboard and gasoline from the area.
Minimize the use of space heaters
Space heaters pose a variety of dangers including overheating, tipping and more. If you absolutely must use a space heater, make sure to use it safety by keeping it on a flat surface away from drapes and bedding, ensuring you plug it directly into the wall and remembering to turn it off whenever you leave the room.
Be smart when using your fireplace
If you utilize a fireplace to add heat to your home, make sure it has a sturdy screen in front of it to prevent sparks from flying out. Before lighting a fire, make sure your chimney is clean and free of buildup. Let ashes cool completely before putting them into a metal container, not a plastic or paper one. Never leave a fire unattended and always keep a functioning extinguisher close to the fireplace.
Educate your family
Discuss home heating safety with your family, especially if you have young kids. Warn them about the dangers of getting too close to your fireplace or furnace and discuss what to do in case of a fire.
Do you have any heating safety tips you practice at your home? Share with us in the comments section below!