Furnace Safety Tips for Winter

Winter has officially arrived in the U.S., requiring you to run the heater on full blast to keep your home warm. Are you confident your furnace, space heater, fireplace and other heating equipment is safe? While vital for staying warm, heating equipment can pose a danger if not used and maintained correctly. Check out some essential heating system safety guidelines to ensure a comfortable and stress-free winter.

Understanding the Risks

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

Candles and holiday decorations: Winter events often include decorative lights and candles. Although these items make the long winter nights more inviting, they can become safety risks if left unattended or placed near flammable materials.

Generators: Operating a generator during a power outage is a helpful backup plan. But, improper usage can cause carbon monoxide poisoning, electrical shocks and fires. Make sure these devices 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 winter. Although engineered to run safely, these devices can become hazardous if they are outdated, malfunctioning or improperly used.

Not enough ventilation: Insufficient ventilation can lead to dangerous carbon monoxide buildup, especially from natural gas, propane or oil heaters.

Old wiring: Older homes with outdated electrical systems may struggle with the demands of contemporary heating appliances. When pushed beyond their limits, the wiring may overheat, increasing the possibility of electrical fires.

Wrong use of heating equipment: Using equipment for unintended purposes, like turning on the oven to heat your home, or placing wet socks over a space heater, can be hazardous.

General Safeguards

Use these safety tips in the winter and through the year to keep your household and family safe:

Gas leaks: If you smell a mysterious rotten egg smell, it might be a gas leak. For your protection, act immediately—open windows and doors to air out the building, evacuate the area and get in touch with your local gas company and fire department.

Flammable items: Make sure to place anything that can burn a minimum of 3 feet away from heating sources like furnaces, fireplaces and portable space heaters.

Children’s safety: Educate your youngest family members about the risks of matches, candles and heating equipment. Then, 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 guidelines help prevent electrical overloads, which can cause overheating and fires.

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

Smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms: Use these devices throughout your home, especially right by sleeping areas and test them every 30 days.

Safety Strategies for Heating Appliances

Here are the top heating system safety tips to take into account this winter:

Professional HVAC service: Because a bad 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 years, knowing your equipment is working the way it ought to.

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

Space heaters: You shouldn’t ever allow space heaters to operate unattended or while you’re sleeping. Place 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 materials. Blow out the flames before leaving your dwelling or going to bed. 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 thrilled with our service, you can count on us to make it right. Along with our technical expertise, Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing is significantly involved in the local communities we serve and remain dedicated 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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