Did you know the leading cause of home fires is caused from the improper use of heating equipment within the home? The largest number of home fires caused by heater accidents occurs from December through February. Here at Distinct Heating & Cooling, we want you and your family to be safe and remain warm, without the risks of accidently starting a fire in your home by offering these tips and suggestions:
Verify there is at least a three-foot clear space around your furnace. You should never store flammable objects or other items next to your furnace. Items placed too close to the furnace can become hot, and eventually start on fire. If you have a fireplace or wood burning stove in your home, also make sure there is sufficient, clear space.
Shut off your furnace if you notice strange smells in the air, like burning plastic, or other such smells that could indicate a problem with the heating system. After shutting off the furnace, contact us immediately to schedule an inspection.
Have your furnace inspected and tuned-up to ensure it is operating correctly. The vast majority of furnace failures during the winter is due to systems not being well-maintained.
Remember to change your furnace air filter as needed. Depending upon the type of filter installed, it could require changing monthly, bi-monthly, quarterly, or semi-annually. If you are not sure how often to change it, do not hesitate to ask one of our furnace technicians for advice!
Install smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors in key areas throughout the home. Remember to test the detectors at least once a month.
Other heat sources:
Never use your oven or cooktop to heat your home. While it can be tempting to rely upon this appliance when there is a problem with your furnace, it is not designed to work as a heater.
Have a professional clean your fireplace or woodstove chimney as needed. Depending upon the type of fuel used, you may need to have the chimney cleaned more frequently during the winter.
With fireplaces and wood burning stoves, make sure you are using the correct fuel type. For instance, if you have a gas fireplace, never burn wood in it. In addition, never burn trash or other such items in the fireplace or stove. Use a screen with fireplaces to stop sparks from getting out and always operate the wood stove with the door closed.
When cleaning out the ashes from fireplaces and wood burning stoves, make sure the fire has completely gone out. Never put hot ashes into plastic or wooden containers. Always use a metal container to put the ashes into and promptly remove them from the home. Do not pour the ashes out until they have sat inside the container, a safe distance away from the home for at least 24 hours.
Never use propane or kerosene heaters within the home. Not only is this dangerous, but they also give off harmful carbon monoxide.
For more fire safety tips or to schedule a furnace tune-up and inspection, please feel free to call us, here at Distinct Heating & Cooling by phoning (403) 477-3810 today!