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Home Heating Safety Tips

Many of us switch on our furnaces in the winter and probably forget about it until the flowers start to bloom. But these are complicated systems that never come without risk. It’s essential to be aware of the necessary precautions to have a safe and warm winter.

Working with Central Heating

West Virginians are likely working with a furnace or another form of central heating. The first step in warming up your home is to have any heating equipment installed by a professional. They will be able to check all the boxes for heating safety and ensure all local building codes are adhered to. You should also have this equipment inspected each year by a professional.

Most things, and especially anything likely to burn easily, should be kept at least three feet away from your furnace. This also goes for children - keep them away from the unit for their safety.

You should be checking, cleaning, and changing your furnace filters regularly. This ensures maximum efficiency with a clear path for air and reduces the risk of a fire.

Risks of Space Heaters

One of the greatest risks of a heating fire comes from a space heater. The National Fire Protection Association estimated that space heaters caused 43 percent of home heating fires. Why? It’s a lot of potential hazards packed into a portable and relatively small package.

If you use a space heater, make sure to fill it with fuel according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Don’t place the heater around flammable objects or on top of rugs, and don’t expose the cord where someone could easily trip over it.

Newer space heaters come with auto shut off settings that will cut off the power source if the unit is tipped over. This is highly recommended if you choose to supplement your furnace with a space heater. You shouldn’t use them to heat whole homes.

Always turn off and unplug your space heater when leaving its location. Also, keep pets and children away from the unit. Never leave the heater unattended.

Fireplace Safety

Fireplaces are another area where space is critical. Keep children and pets away from the heat source, and even put up a barrier to block the entrance. You should also keep flammable items at least three feet away from the fire. Installing a screen can help prevent ashes or sparks from reaching items in your room.

Make sure fires are completely extinguished when you leave the room. Unfortunately, setting up a fire for the night is a commitment you need to stick to. It should never be left unattended and should be completely cool when leaving or going to bed.

General Safety Tips

Ovens are for cooking only

It may seem convenient to open up your oven and let it bathe your kitchen in warmth. Don’t. Gases in your oven can pose a health risk if exposed for too long. If it takes 20 minutes to heat a lasagna, it will take much longer to heat your whole home, and it’s unlikely it would work at all. It’s merely a waste of time, fuel, and money.

Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors

These tools are some of the most effective at protecting your home and your health. It is recommended to have at least one on every floor of your home. You may even consider purchasing a dual model that checks for smoke and carbon monoxide. Note: carbon monoxide is an odorless gas and can only be found with a detector.

Have an escape plan

Safety precautions are sometimes not enough to protect you from fire or hazard. If you find an issue in your home, be ready with an escape plan that involves your whole family. Decide how to get out, where to go, and who to contact. If you discover a fire or gas leak, leave your home and call 911 immediately.

Heating Services in Huntington

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