During the winter months, we rely heavily on our heating systems to keep our homes warm and comfortable. But sadly, half of all home heating fires occur during the months of December, January, and February. Improperly used space heaters, poorly maintained furnaces, and other home heating systems can present hazards such as carbon monoxide poisoning and fires.
Fortunately, there are several things you can do to minimize that risk and keep your home and family safe all season long. Read on to learn more.
General Heating Safety
- Keep anything flammable at least three feet away from all heat sources, including the furnace, fireplace, portable space heater, and candles.
- Designate a three-foot “kid and pet-free zone” around space heaters and open fires.
- Never use your stove or oven to heat your home.
- Plug only one heat-producing appliance into one electrical outlet at a time.
- Always turn off portable space heaters when leaving the room or before going to bed.
- Test your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms monthly and replace the batteries every six months.
- Never leave candles burning unattended.
- If you smell gas in your home, leave immediately and call your gas company or local fire department from a safe location.
Heating Equipment Safety
- Hire a qualified professional to install or service all heating equipment.
- Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional.
- Keep portable generators away from windows and use them as far away from your home as possible.
- Make sure your fireplace is equipped with a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into your living space.
- Keep the area around the fireplace clear of anything that is potentially flammable like furniture, drapes, toys, decorations, etc.
- Wait until ashes have cooled completely, then place them into a covered metal container.
- Only burn dry, well-aged wood in your wood-burning stove or fireplace.
- Never leave a fire in the fireplace unattended. Make sure it is completely out before leaving the house or going to bed.
Most of us face the onset of winter with at least mild trepidation. Well, one way to triumph over nature is to prepare the inside of your home the best you can. Step one? Contact Air Professionals for annual preventative maintenance to keep your home heating system in top working order all season long.