As the cold sets in, the heating equipment likely turns on for the first time since last season. It’s a cozy time of year, snuggling up with a warm blanket by the fireplace while sipping hot cocoa. However heating equipment such as fireplaces and furnaces pose a danger if certain precautions are taken and if they are not properly cared for. Heating equipment is a leading cause of home fire deaths, according to the National Fire Protection Association.
Tips on how to stay warm and stay safe in your home:
- It’s best to keep flammable items at least 3 feet away from heating equipment.
- Have a 3 foot kid-free and pet-free zone.
- Replace the batteries in and test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
- Keep operational fire extinguishers on hand.
- Have your heating equipment inspected by a professional each year.
- Turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or home.
- Do not use your oven to heat your home.
If you have a furnace:
- Check your furnace filter every 30 days and wait no longer than 90 days to clean or replace it.
- Clean around your furnace.
- Your furnace flame should be blue. If it’s not, schedule an inspection.
- If there is soot around your furnace, it could indicate it’s faulty or not ventilated well enough.
- Make sure you know how to turn off the gas at the main valve, near your gas meter.
If you have a fireplace or wood stove:
- Have your fireplace and chimney inspected and cleaned each year.
- Make sure your fireplace damper is open when in use.
- Make sure your fireplace has a glass or metal screen to stop ashes and sparks from going into the room.
- Make sure fireplace remotes or switches are out of reach of children.
- Clean ashes after every burn.
- Let ashes cool entirely before putting them in a metal container with a lid. Do not keep the container in the house.
- Put the fire out before you go to sleep.
- Do not burn paper in your fireplace or wood stove.
- Keep the doors of your wood stove closed, unless you’re loading it or stoking the fire.
If you experience a fire or smoke damage from a heating equipment malfunction to your home or business, give us a call. It’s our job to help get you back on your feet.