In the winter, you’re likely running your gas furnace, or using space heaters or a wood-burning stove or fireplace to keep your home toasty warm. The National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA) tells us that heating equipment is the second most common cause of fatal house fires, so it’s wise to make fire prevention a priority. Taking the following steps can help you lower your risk of heating-related house fires:
Maintain Your Heating System
Before heating season begins, have your gas furnace professionally cleaned and inspected. When it’s properly maintained, you can rest easy knowing that the entire system – including the safety controls, heat exchanger, gas valve/lines, venting and electrical components – is in good shape and working properly.
Take Precautions With Space Heaters
If you use a space heater to take the chill out of specific rooms or areas in your home, set it on a level, non-flammable surface, and make sure the unit has an automatic shutoff that’s triggered if it tips over. Plug electric units into ground fault interrupter (GFI) receptacles, and only run portable space heaters in rooms that are occupied.
Avoid Wood Burning Hazards
If you have a wood-stove or fireplace, get the chimney or flue inspected and cleaned before heating season, and use a diffuser screen and flame-proof mat to contain stray sparks.
Exercise Care With Flammables
Never store flammables like aerosols, solvents, paints, or paper products close to combustion appliances, like your gas furnace or water heater. To further limit the risk of accidental fires, keep household goods like upholstered items, throw rugs, and curtains, at least three feet away from a fireplace, space heater or other such device.
Have Reliable Smoke Detectors
To alert you if a fire does break out, install a smoke detector in each bedroom, outside the sleeping area(s), and on each level of the house. Make sure your detectors are in good working condition, put in fresh batteries at the start of heating season, and test each one every month.
To schedule heating system maintenance for fire prevention in your Eastern North Carolina home, contact us at Jackson & Sons.
Jackson & Sons, Inc.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Eastern North Carolina (including Wayne, Johnston, Greene, Lenoir, and Duplin Counties) about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).