Furnace Safety Tips for Winter

Winter has officially arrived in the U.S., requiring you to run the heater at maximum power to keep your home comfortable. Are you sure your furnace, space heater, fireplace and other heating devices are safe? While essential for staying warm, heating equipment can pose a danger if not used and maintained correctly. Explore some essential heating system safety guidelines to ensure a comfortable and worry-free winter.

Knowing the Risks

Because families rely heavily on heating systems during colder months, home fires and heating-related accidents spike this time of year. Some frequent risks include:

Candles and holiday decorations: Winter events typically include decorative lights and candles. Even though these items make the long winter nights more inviting, they can become fire threats if left unattended or left near flammable materials.

Generators: Relying on a generator during a blackout is a good backup plan. On the other hand, using them incorrectly can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning, electrical shocks and fires. Ensure these appliances are set up outside and far from windows or doors.

Heating appliances: Space heaters, furnaces and fireplaces play a crucial role in causing home fires during the colder months. Even though engineered to function safely, these devices can become hazardous if they are outdated, malfunctioning or not operated safely.

Lack of ventilation: Improper ventilation can lead to dangerous carbon monoxide buildup, especially from natural gas, propane or oil heaters.

Old wiring: Older homes with antiquated electrical systems may struggle with the demands of today’s heating appliances. When operated beyond its capacity, the wiring may overheat, increasing the likelihood of electrical fires.

Wrong use of heating equipment: Using equipment for unintended purposes, like firing up the oven to warm up your residence, or draping wet socks over a space heater, can be hazardous.

General Guidelines

Use these safety recommendations in the winter and during the year to keep your residence and family safe:

Gas leaks: If you detect a mysterious rotten egg smell, it could be a gas leak. For your well-being, act immediately—open windows and doors to ventilate the area, evacuate the area and get in touch with your local gas company and fire department.

Flammable items: Always put anything that can burn at least 3 feet away from heating sources like furnaces, fireplaces and portable space heaters.

Children’s safety: Instruct your youngest family members about the risks of matches, candles and heating devices. Next, establish a “kid-free zone” close to open flames and heaters to reduce the chance of accidents. 

Electric safety: Avoid plugging heating appliances into extension cords or power strips. Additionally, plug only one high-power-draw device into an electrical outlet at a time. These strategies help prevent electrical overloads, which can cause overheating and fires.

Candle safety: Carefully watch lit candles and extinguish them before leaving the room or going to sleep.

Smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors: Keep these products in your home, especially right outside sleeping areas and test them every month.

Safety Strategies for Heating Appliances

Here are some helpful heating system safety guidelines to take into account this winter:

Professional setup: Because a poor setup can increase the risk of fire, carbon monoxide poisoning and electrical shock, you should always leave furnace installation to a professional. You’ll appreciate peace of mind for a long time, knowing your equipment is running the way it is supposed to.

Routine maintenance: Yearly inspections of your heating equipment and chimneys by skilled professionals can uncover hidden problems that might not be visible to the untrained eye. These visits can identify worn-out parts, ventilation problems and potential gas leaks. Scheduled maintenance also ensures maximum efficiency and helps lengthen your system’s life span.

Space heaters: You shouldn’t ever allow space heaters to function unattended or while you’re sleeping. Position these units on a stable, non-flammable surface and keep anything that could catch fire away from the front, back and sides of the unit.

Fireplaces: Install a metal screen in front of the fireplace to stop sparks from escaping and igniting nearby materials. Blow out the flames before leaving the residence or nodding off to sleep. Once it has entirely cooled, collect the ashes in a metal container and store them outside a safe distance from your premises.

Choose Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing for Heating Service in the U.S.

As the cold weather gets worse, Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing is ready to maintain your comfort and protection. Our ACE-certified technicians supply fast, long-lasting solutions for all your heating needs, with services backed by a 100% satisfaction guarantee. If you’re not satisfied with our work, you can count on us to make it right. In addition to our technical expertise, Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing is deeply involved in the local communities we serve and remain dedicated to innovation and customer engagement. For assistance staying warm this winter, call 866-397-3787 today to schedule an appointment with Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing.

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