Furnace Safety Tips for Winter

Winter has officially arrived in Columbus, forcing you to run the heater on full blast to keep your home cozy. Are you confident your furnace, space heater, fireplace and other heating devices are safe? While crucial 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 stress-free winter.

Understanding the Risks

Because households rely heavily on heating systems during colder months, home fires and heating-related accidents increase this time of year. A few typical 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 fire threats if left unattended or left near flammable materials.

Generators: Operating a generator during an electricity outage is a helpful backup plan. On the other hand, using them incorrectly can cause carbon monoxide poisoning, electrical shocks and fires. Ensure these machines 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 winter. While crafted to function safely, these devices can become risky if they are outdated, malfunctioning or misused.

Not enough ventilation: Improper ventilation can lead to 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 today’s heating appliances. When operated beyond its capacity, the wiring may overheat, increasing the possibility of electrical fires.

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

General Safeguards

Use these safety recommendations in the winter and throughout the year to keep your household and family safe:

Gas leaks: If you smell an inexplicable rotten egg smell, it might 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.

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: Instruct your children about the hazards of matches, candles and heating devices. Then, establish a “kid-free zone” near open flames and heaters to reduce the chance of accidents. 

Energy safety: Avoid plugging heating appliances into extension cords or power strips. In addition, plug only one high-power-draw device into an electrical outlet at a time. These tips help stop electrical overloads, which can cause overheating and fires.

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

Smoke alarms and carbon monoxide sensors: Keep these accessories inside your home, especially right outside sleeping areas and test them every 30 days.

Specific Heating Equipment Tips

Here are several heating system safety tips to remember 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 an expert. You’ll appreciate peace of mind for many years, knowing your equipment is running the way it is supposed to.

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

Space heaters: Never allow space heaters to run unattended or while you’re sleeping. Put these devices on a stable, non-flammable surface and keep anything that could catch fire away from the front, back and sides of the unit.

Fireplaces: Install a metal screen in front of the fireplace to keep sparks from escaping and igniting nearby objects. Snuff out the flames before leaving home or nodding off to sleep. Once it has completely cooled, collect the ashes in a metal container and store them outside a safe distance from your premises.

Call Stevenson Service Experts for Heating Service in Columbus

As the cold weather gets worse, Stevenson Service Experts is ready to protect 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 pleased with our performance, you can depend on us to make it right. In addition to our technical expertise, Stevenson Service Experts is significantly involved in the local communities we serve and remain dedicated to innovation and customer engagement. For assistance staying warm this winter, call 614-334-3192 today to set up an appointment with Stevenson Service Experts.

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