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 equipment is safe? While vital for staying warm, heating equipment can pose a danger if not used and maintained properly. Discover some important heating system safety tips to ensure a warm and safe winter.

Identifying the Risks

Because households rely heavily on heating systems when it’s cold, home fires and heating-related accidents increase this time of year. Several common risks include:

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

Generators: Using a generator during a blackout is a good backup plan. However, improper usage can cause carbon monoxide poisoning, electrical shocks and fires. Confirm that these appliances are positioned 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. Although engineered to operate safely, these devices can become dangerous if they are outdated, malfunctioning or misused.

Lack of ventilation: Inadequate 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 pushed beyond their limits, the wiring may overheat, increasing the possibility of electrical fires.

Improper use of heating devices: 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 Safeguards

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

Gas leaks: If you detect 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 contact your local gas company and fire department.

Burnable items: Keep 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 hazards of matches, candles and heating equipment. After that, establish a “kid-free zone” close to open flames and heaters to reduce the chance of accidents. 

Electrical safety: Don’t use heating appliances with extension cords or power strips. In addition, 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 extinguish them before leaving 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.

Specific Heating Equipment Tips

Here are some helpful heating system safety tips to consider this winter:

Professional setup: Because a faulty 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 many years, knowing your equipment is operating the way it ought to.

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

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

Fireplaces: Place a metal screen in front of the fireplace to keep sparks from escaping and igniting nearby objects. Put out the flames before leaving the residence or going to bed. Once it has completely cooled, collect the ashes in a metal container and store them outside a safe distance from your premises.

Call 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 preserve your comfort and safety. Our ACE-certified technicians offer fast, long-lasting solutions for all your heating needs, with services backed by a 100% satisfaction guarantee. If you’re not satisfied with our performance, you can count on us to make it right. Beyond 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 set up an appointment with Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing.

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