Home Heating Safety Tips to Prevent House Fires
Autumn has arrived and cooler weather is quickly approaching North Alabama. If you’re like many, you’re probably anxious to turn up the heater, fire up the fireplace, light some fall scented candles, and snuggle up under your favorite blanket. However, while you might be ready to turn up the heat, if you don’t do so safely, things could get a lot hotter than expected. In order to prevent a house fire in your home, follow these home heating safety tips.
Leave Some Space
All heating sources need at least 3 feet of clearance between them and any obstructions including, but not limited to, rugs, tables, toys, baskets, blankets, and your skin. Did you know, if a heater is too close to your skin for too long, you can experience Toasted Skin Syndrome without even noticing until you begin experiencing the after-effects? Apart from that, if heating sources are too close, they could catch embers or overheat and lead to a house fire.
Don’t Walk Away
When burning candles, running space heaters, or using the fireplace, always make sure you’re occupying the area in which these forms of heating are being used. Leaving heaters and fires unattended is extremely dangerous. Always turn off space heaters and blow out candles before leaving your home or going to sleep.
Check Your Plugs
When using a space heater, it’s important to check the plug and the cord. Never use a space heater that has a damaged cord or plug. This can cause electric shorting which can spark a fire in your home. It’s also important to always plug space heaters directly into the wall instead of through an extension cord. Extension cords can easily overheat and cause a fire when being used for a space heater because of the volume of electricity needed to run them. Using a space heater with an extension cord exposes your home and your family to unnecessary danger.
Check the Fireplace
Do not use your fireplace for the first time this season if it has not been inspected by a professional. Throughout the off-season, your chimney has been a harboring place for dust, and could have even gathered other elements inside as well. Before lighting a fire for the first time this season, you should also ensure a proper screen is being used to prevent embers from escaping the fireplace and entering your home.
Use Proper Heating Devices
Using space heaters, wood burning stoves, or your furnace or heat pump are all safe and effective methods for heating your home. Do not use ovens and candles as a source of heat for your whole home. Using ovens to heat your home exposes your family to carbon monoxide which is extremely harmful and can even be fatal. Don’t worry though, using your oven for short periods of time to cook while keeping the oven closed is safe.
As for candles, burning candles is not an effective way to heat your home, and burning too many presents an unnecessary fire hazard. Candles should be used sparingly, and only for short periods of time.
Install Safety Equipment
Installing proper safety equipment is one of the most important steps in safely heating your home. With proper equipment such as smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, fire alarms, and fire extinguishers, you will be able to protect yourself, your home, and your family in the event a fire does occur. If the fire has not developed, and only smoke is setting off your alarm, you could prevent a house fire all together.
In the event there is an out of control fire, evacuate your family from the home immediately and call the fire department. If your carbon monoxide alarm goes off, you should also evacuate the home immediately and call the fire department. Carbon monoxide cannot be seen with the eye, so if your detector is going off, you’re likely already being exposed to this harmful gas. Learn more about what to do if you smell gas here.
Use Professionals for HVAC Care
Whether it’s heating maintenance, repair, or installs, it’s important to use a licensed and experienced professional for all your HVAC needs. The professionals at Garrison & Garrison are trained to install based on local codes and regulations, as well as the safety of your family so you can rest easy in a comfortable home. If you need heating maintenance before the cold weather sets in, our Priority Plus Energy Savings Plan makes sure your system runs smoothly throughout every season and ensures increased efficiency and prolonged system life to save you money.
If you need furnace or heat pump services this fall or winter, contact Garrison & Garrison! Our professional staff is trained to service all furnaces and heat pumps. We can also answer any questions you might have and make recommendations for the best HVAC solutions for your home.
Garrison & Garrison is a trusted American Standard Heating & Air Conditioning Customer Care Dealer in Huntsville, AL. Call us at (256) 859-8500 or email us at [email protected] with any questions or for more information.