Furnace Safety Tips for Winter

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

Knowing the Risks

Because households rely heavily on heating systems in the winter, home fires and heating-related accidents increase this time of year. Some frequent risks include:

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

Generators: Operating a generator during a blackout is a helpful backup plan. But, using them incorrectly can result in carbon monoxide poisoning, electrical shocks and fires. Confirm that these appliances are located outside and far from windows or doors.

Heating appliances: Space heaters, furnaces and fireplaces are among the many threats of home fires during the winter. While engineered to operate safely, these devices can become hazardous if they are outdated, malfunctioning or misused.

Not enough ventilation: Improper ventilation can cause dangerous carbon monoxide buildup, especially from natural gas, propane or oil heaters.

Old wiring: Older homes with obsolete electrical systems may struggle with the demands of contemporary heating appliances. When overloaded, the wiring may overheat, increasing the likelihood of electrical fires.

Improper use of heating appliances: Using equipment for unintended purposes, like firing up the oven to provide warmth, or placing wet socks over a space heater, can be dangerous.

General Guidelines

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

Gas leaks: If you smell an inexplicable rotten egg smell, it could be a gas leak. For your safety, 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.

Combustible 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: Instruct your kids about the risks of matches, candles and heating products. After that, establish a “kid-free zone” close to open flames and heaters to reduce the chance of accidents. 

Electric safety: Don’t use heating appliances with extension cords or power strips. Additionally, plug only one high-power-draw device into an electrical outlet at a time. These strategies help stop electrical overloads, which can cause overheating and fires.

Candle safety: Carefully monitor lit candles and blow them out before walking out of the room or going to sleep.

Smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms: Install these accessories in your home, especially right outside sleeping areas and test them monthly.

Ways to Stay Safe with Heating Systems

Here are some helpful heating system safety guidelines 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 a professional. You’ll appreciate peace of mind for many years, knowing your equipment is running the way it should.

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 inspections can identify worn-out parts, ventilation malfunctions and potential gas leaks. Regular maintenance also ensures optimum efficiency and extends your system’s life span.

Space heaters: Do not allow space heaters to run unattended or while you’re asleep. Position these devices on a stable, non-flammable surface and keep anything that could catch fire away from the front, back and sides of the equipment.

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

Call 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 preserve your comfort and safety. 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 happy with our work, you can depend on us to make it right. Along with 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 heating service in your neighborhood, call 866-397-3787 today to set up an appointment with Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing.

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