Furnace Safety Tips for Winter

Winter has officially arrived in the U.S., forcing you to run the heater at its highest setting to keep your home cozy. Are you sure your furnace, space heater, fireplace and other heating equipment is safe? While vital for staying warm, heating equipment can become a hazard if not used and maintained correctly. Check out some essential heating system safety recommendations to ensure a cozy and worry-free winter.

Understanding the Risks

Because families rely heavily on heating systems during colder months, home fires and heating-related accidents are more common this time of year. Several common risks include:

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

Generators: Relying on a generator during an electricity outage is a helpful backup plan. But, improper usage can result in carbon monoxide poisoning, electrical shocks and fires. Make sure these appliances are located outside and far from windows or doors.

Heating appliances: Space heaters, furnaces and fireplaces play a crucial role in causing home fires during the winter. While engineered to operate safely, these devices can become hazardous if they are outdated, malfunctioning or misused.

Lack of ventilation: Insufficient ventilation can cause dangerous carbon monoxide buildup, especially from natural gas, propane or oil heaters.

Old wiring: Older homes with antiquated electrical systems may face challenges when trying to meet the demands of contemporary heating appliances. When overloaded, the wiring may overheat, increasing the risk of electrical fires.

Incorrect use of heating equipment: Using equipment for unintended purposes, like running the oven to heat your home, or draping wet socks over a space heater, can be dangerous.

General Safety Measures

Use these safety tips in the winter and throughout the year to keep your home and family safe:

Gas leaks: If you notice a strange rotten egg smell, it may be a gas leak. For your well-being, act immediately—open windows and doors to air out the building, evacuate the area and contact your local gas company and fire department.

Burnable items: Always put anything that can burn a minimum of 3 feet away from heating sources like furnaces, fireplaces and portable space heaters.

Children’s safety: Teach your youngest family members about the dangers of matches, candles and heating devices. Next, establish a “kid-free zone” around 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 tips help stop electrical overloads, which can cause overheating and fires.

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

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

Specific Heating Equipment Tips

Here are the top heating system safety tricks to consider 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 an expert. You’ll appreciate peace of mind for a long time, knowing your equipment is running the way it is supposed to.

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

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

Fireplaces: Put a metal screen in front of the fireplace to prevent sparks from flying out and igniting nearby items. Extinguish the flames before leaving your dwelling or sleeping. Once it has totally cooled, gather the ashes in a metal container and store them outside a safe distance from your residence.

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

As the winter season intensifies, Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing is ready to protect your comfort and protection. Our ACE-certified technicians supply fast, long-lasting remedies for all your heating needs, with services backed by a 100% satisfaction guarantee. If you’re not thrilled with our performance, you can rely on us to make it right. In addition to our technical expertise, Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing is significantly involved in the local communities we serve and remain committed to innovation and customer engagement. For heating service in your neighborhood, call 866-397-3787 today to arrange an appointment with Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing.

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