While the HVAC systems in our homes and properties are essential to them functioning properly and comfortably, they can also be sources of accidental heating fires if not maintained properly.
Furnaces, space heaters, central heating systems, and fireplaces are all possible fire hazards when they are not properly inspected and maintained every season.
Did you know that 64 percent of home heating fires happen because property owners fail to maintain their heating equipment? It’s an unfortunate and preventable truth. Also sad but true, 27 percent of home heating fires and 53 percent of deaths are caused by the close proximity of having home heating equipment near combustible materials.
While the optimal time to check your heating system is typically in October, home to Fire Prevention Week, it’s never a bad time to tend to your heaters and furnaces. Here are 10 heating-related fire prevention tips to take to heart:
1) Upgrade to a Central Heating System. Central heat is always the safest home heating option.
2) Test your smoke detectors twice a year. A good rule of thumb is to check them when you turn your clocks forward or back an hour.
3) If you have a chimney, have it cleaned annually.
4) Keep a screen over your fireplace.
5) Place flammable objects at least three feet away from heating equipment. This includes gasoline, clothing, paper, wood scraps, paint, bedding, drapery, and upholstered furniture.
6) Have an escape plan. Always know how you’ll exit your home in the event that a fire breaks out and be sure to review that plan annually with your entire family. Having two routes for exiting your home is ideal in case one route is blocked by fire.
7) Limit heating appliances. Plug in only one at a time.
8) Unplug or switch off. Be sure to turn off or unplug your space heaters and the like before retiring to bed or when leaving your home.
9) Be cautious with space heaters. Never leave them running while unattended and keep them on a level and non-flammable base. Space heaters should only be plugged into GFI systems.
10) Schedule regular HVAC maintenance with licensed HVAC technicians. Annual tune-ups and inspections are essential, as are duct cleaning and filter replacement.
Call A&T Heating and Air Conditioning in Mohnton, Berks County, PA at 484-516-1017 or visit us online at www.atheatac.com and we can perform the necessary HVAC inspections and service to ensure your systems are functioning properly and safely.