These tips can help make your home warmer and safer this winter
You may not know this, but December through March of every year is the period when many house fires start as a result of faulty heating systems – many of which are preventable. Safety is very important at this time of year and making sure your furnace is clean and ready before the deep, deep cold sets in should be part of your safety checklist.
Keep your furnace and the area around your furnace clean
Your furnace should be cleaned regularly because it can leak carbon monoxide, which is deadly, and you won’t smell it because it’s odorless. If you see changes in the color of your walls or wallpaper around heating vents or see, paint peeling, contact your heating and cooling company immediately. These symptoms typically signal a serious problem with your furnace that could result in fire if not addressed promptly.
Also be sure to leave a 3-foot buffer space between your furnace and any materials that are flammable. This will help prevent accidental fires caused by wood, paper, or other near-by items. And, keeping these areas debris-free can make it easier to change filters and do routine maintenance.
Test all smoke alarms
Smoke alarms are your first defense against calamity during the winter months when your furnace is running at full steam. Test your smoke alarms and replace batteries as needed. Research shows that 33% of residential fire deaths happen in homes without smoke detectors and alarms that work. Fire safety devices that are fully working can give you and your entire family additional protection throughout the year. If you have any smoke alarms that are “chirping”, that means they’re near the end of their battery life and it’s time to replace batteries.
Use space heaters with caution
If your furnace breaks down and you must use space heaters, be very careful to keep them away from anything flammable. Too close to the windows and it will be “curtains” for anyone in the room! (they can catch on fire very easily)
Check your furnace and water heater venting
During heavy snow storms, be sure to check the outdoor venting pipes for your furnace and water heater. Keep them clear of snow drifts as the snow will block the carbon monoxide in your home, creating a very dangerous situation for your family.
Never use the stove
Whatever you do, never use the kitchen stove to heat your home. Leaving your stove running for long periods of time can result in carbon monoxide poisoning.
Don’t do it yourself
Working on your furnace without proper training can be dangerous and lead to further damage to fragile components a small problem could develop into a major repair expense. It’s like doing your own dental work, it never works out right.
Make your home warm and SAFE this winter. Following these simple tips will make sure you are comfortable through the winter…and don’t burn down your house! And if you do need some assistance, the people at Stramowski are here for you!