Knowing how to properly use your heating equipment and what warning signs to look for can prevent a home fire. Here are helpful furnace and boiler safety tips.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, heating equipment is a leading cause of home fire deaths and half of home heating equipment fires are reported during December, January, and February. Here are some safety tips for your furnace and boiler that can help keep your household safe:
- Keep anything flammable at least three feet away from heating equipment. In addition to furnaces and boilers, this includes fireplaces, wood stoves, and space heaters.
- Always have central heating equipment installed by competent professionals who follow local codes and manufacturer’s instructions.
- Have your furnace or boiler inspected and maintained annually by a qualified contractor. Make sure they check all the components, including
,wires, connections, valves, and venting.
- Make sure your heating system vents are not blocked by furniture, clothing, boxes, or any other items.
- Change your furnace air filter regularly, which keeps debris out of the system (and helps it run more efficiently)
- Keep children away from furnace and boiler equipment at all times.
- Make sure your furnace exhaust system is properly sized and that your chimney, connector pipes, and flues are cleaned and inspected each year.
- Have smoke alarms installed on each floor of your home and test them once a month. Replace the batteries regularly.
- Install carbon monoxide detectors in addition to the smoke alarms. Know the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, which can include a dull headache, weakness, dizziness, nausea or vomiting, shortness of breath, confusion, blurred vision, and loss of consciousness.
Protect Your Home by Taking Furnace Safety Seriously
Always pay attention to any unusual sounds or odors coming from your furnace or boiler, and report them to a repair professional. It’s also important to have a home fire escape safety plan that every member of your household knows about, understands, and has practiced. You might also want to consider getting home warranty coverage for major home systems, like heating, to help with repairs or replacements in case covered items break down due to normal wear and tear.