Posted: February 26, 2020 at 11:10 pm
By: Lakes Region HVAC
Winter home fires account for just 8% of all the fires in the U.S. but cause 30% of all fire-related deaths, according to the U.S. Fire Administration.
Each year, winter home fires take 890 lives and result in $2 billion in property loss, says the Fire Administration.
This winter, protect your family with these 7 Home Heating Fire Safety Tips:
Whether you heat your home with a furnace, fireplace, wood stove, portable space heater, or what-have-you—keep a 3-foot area around the heat source free from all flammable objects, children, and pets. More than half of all home heating fire deaths occur because a heat source ignites something that can burn, such as upholstered furniture, clothing, mattresses, and bedding, according to the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA).
After baking a delicious meal or dessert, it’s nice to leave the oven door open when the oven is off to let the aromatic heat fill the house. Opening the oven door and turning it on to heat your house is very dangerous. Both electric and gas ovens have inherent dangers if they are used for home heating purposes.
There are a lot of do-it-yourself projects around the house perfect for saving money and improving your living environment. Installing heat pumps, gas and oil furnaces, and boilers are not on that list.
Factory-trained HVAC technicians should be the only people installing home heating systems for a number of safety reasons, including complying with all local codes. Additionally, you may think you’re saving money, but in the long-run, you’re losing out on many benefits of professional HVAC service, including better performing and longer-running equipment.
Don’t wait until your heating system breaks down to think about servicing it. Brand-new, energy-efficient home heating equipment needs the same regular professional maintenance on day one as it does on year ten.
Regular HVAC service reduces emergency repairs and breakdowns. If you’re home heating system is working, you won’t need to rely on potentially dangerous workarounds in an emergency.
Homeowners can add value to professional service with monthly visual inspections to detect leaks and clogged air filters.
Space heaters are responsible for 5 out of 6 (85%) home heating fire deaths, according to NFPA. Of all home heating fires, 43% are caused by portable heaters.
Always purchase a portable space heater with an automatic shut-off feature, and always turn off the heater when you go to bed or leave the room, according to the national Fire Administration.
Space heaters should always be plugged directly into a wall outlet and not into an extension cord, says NFPA.
The 3-foot rule applies to fireplaces so keep all flammable objects and children at least three feet away from the hearth. Keep a sturdy glass or metal screen in front of the fireplace to keep sparks from flying out onto the carpet or furniture, says the national Fire Administration.
Always put the fire out before you go to bed, and after the ashes are cool, put them in a metal container at least 3 feet from your home, according the Fire Administration.
When a factory-authorized HVAC contractor installs your new energy-efficient furnace or boiler, he or she should also install a new battery-operated or battery back-up CO detector.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also recommends placing a battery-operated or battery back-up CO detector near every sleeping area.
The most cost-effective solution is to purchase a combination CO and smoke detector. Test the detectors each month, change the batteries every year, and replace the entire unit every 10 years, according to the U.S. Fire Administration.
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