Furnace Safety Tips for Winter

Winter has officially arrived in the U.S., requiring you to run the heater at its highest setting to keep your home cozy. Are you confident your furnace, space heater, fireplace and other heating equipment is safe? While vital for staying warm, heating equipment can be risky if not used and maintained appropriately. Explore some essential heating system safety tips to ensure a cozy and worry-free winter.

Knowing the Risks

Because families rely heavily on heating systems when it’s cold, home fires and heating-related accidents are more common this time of year. Some frequent risks include:

Candles and holiday decorations: Winter festivities typically include decorative lights and candles. Although these items make the long winter nights more cozy, they can become fire threats if left unattended or placed near flammable materials.

Generators: Operating a generator during a blackout is a good 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 contribute significantly to home fires during the winter. Even though engineered to run safely, these devices can become hazardous if they are outdated, malfunctioning or misused.

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

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

General Safeguards

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

Gas leaks: If you detect 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 get in touch with your local gas company and fire department.

Flammable items: Make sure to place anything that can burn no less than 3 feet away from heating sources like furnaces, fireplaces and portable space heaters.

Children’s safety: Instruct your youngest family members about the dangers of matches, candles and heating products. Then, establish a “kid-free zone” near open flames and heaters to avoid accidents. 

Energy 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 guidelines help stop electrical overloads, which can cause overheating and fires.

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

Smoke alarms and carbon monoxide sensors: Use these products throughout your home, especially right outside sleeping areas and test them every month.

Safety Strategies for Heating Appliances

Here are the top heating system safety tricks to follow this winter:

Professional installation: Because a faulty setup can increase the risk of fire, carbon monoxide poisoning and electrical shock, you should always leave furnace installation to a professional. You’ll get peace of mind for years, knowing your equipment is working the way it ought to.

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

Space heaters: Never 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 unit.

Fireplaces: Put a metal screen in front of the fireplace to keep sparks from escaping and igniting nearby items. Snuff out the flames before leaving home or nodding off to sleep. Once it has totally cooled, put 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 winter season intensifies, Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing is ready to maintain your comfort and protection. Our ACE-certified technicians deliver fast, long-lasting solutions for all your heating needs, with services backed by a 100% satisfaction guarantee. If you’re not thrilled with our performance, you can depend 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 dedicated to innovation and customer engagement. For heating service in your neighborhood, call 866-397-3787 today to schedule an appointment with Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing.

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