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 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 appropriately. Explore some vital heating system safety guidelines to ensure a cozy and stress-free winter.

Understanding the Risks

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

Candles and holiday decorations: Winter events typically include decorative lights and candles. Even though these items make the long winter nights more cozy, they can become safety risks if left unattended or set near flammable materials.

Generators: Relying on a generator during an electricity outage is a good backup plan. However, incorrect use can result in carbon monoxide poisoning, electrical shocks and fires. Confirm that these devices 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. Even though crafted to operate safely, these devices can become hazardous if they are outdated, malfunctioning or misused.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 face challenges when trying to meet the demands of today’s 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 firing up the oven to warm up your residence, or throwing wet socks over a space heater, can be risky.

General Guidelines

Observe 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 might be a gas leak. For your safety, act immediately—open windows and doors to air out the building, evacuate the area and call your local gas company and fire department.

Burnable items: Keep anything that can burn at least 3 feet away from heating sources like furnaces, fireplaces and portable space heaters.

Children’s safety: Teach your children about the hazards of matches, candles and heating products. Next, establish a “kid-free zone” around open flames and heaters to prevent accidents. 

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

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

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

Safety Strategies for Heating Appliances

Here are several heating system safety guidelines to consider this winter:

Professional HVAC service: 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 many years, knowing your equipment is working the way it should.

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

Space heaters: You shouldn’t ever allow space heaters to function 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 equipment.

Fireplaces: Place a metal screen in front of the fireplace to prevent sparks from escaping and igniting nearby objects. Blow out the flames before leaving home or nodding off to sleep. Once it has totally cooled, gather the ashes in a metal container and store them outside a safe distance from your house.

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 safety. Our ACE-certified technicians provide fast, long-lasting remedies for all your heating needs, with services backed by a 100% satisfaction guarantee. If you’re not satisfied with our service, you can rely on us to make it right. In addition to our technical expertise, Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing is very involved in the local communities we serve and remain committed to innovation and customer engagement. For assistance staying warm this winter, call 866-397-3787 today to schedule an appointment with Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing.

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