Firefighters Extinguishing House Fire

7 Furnace Safety Tips to Prevent House Fires

When the weather gets cold, there’s nothing better than firing up the furnace to stay nice and warm. However, your furnace requires some maintenance after the summer season in order to work properly. Not only does regular maintenance keep your heater functioning, but it also reduces the risk of a house fire.

No matter what type of furnace you have in your dwelling, here are some fire safety tips to protect your family and property this winter.

1.) Schedule Regular Inspections

The best way to know if your furnace is in suitable shape is to have it inspected at least once per year. A licensed contractor can check to see if there are any unusual issues with your HVAC system and make the necessary repairs.

While you may be tempted to conduct your own assessment to save money, a lot of house fires are caused by unknown damage within the furnace. As a result, it’s always a better option to seek professional help.

2.) Vacuum Your Furnace After the Hot Season

Since your heating system was likely off during the hot season, there will be a lot of lint, dust, and debris built up. Vacuuming and cleaning out your furnace will remove these potentially flammable compounds and drastically decrease the chances of starting a house fire. Vacuum your heater monthly to ensure it stays clean.

Wood Burning In Furnace

If you have a gas furnace, a blue flame means it’s clean enough. Yellow or orange flames are a good indicator that you need to vacuum.

3.) Create a Fire Safe Zone Around Your Furnace

The basement is an excellent place to store household items. However, it can be hazardous if they are left too close to the furnace area. Some of the dangerous flammable items to be aware of are:

  • Clothes
  • Laundry baskets
  • Paper
  • Cardboard boxes
  • Flammable liquids (gas, kerosene)
  • Paint

To reduce your chances of starting a fire, try to keep flammable items at least 10 to 15 feet away from the ignition source.

4.) Remember to Shut Off the Gas

If you have a gas furnace, knowing the location of the shut-off valve is crucial. The valve location is typically found in the owner’s manual, so be sure to have that on deck. Any smell of gas can be a huge danger, and it’s likely to come from your furnace.

What’s more, you should make sure the valve is functioning properly in case of an emergency where you need to shut it off quickly.

5.) Make Sure Your Smoke Alarms Are Working Properly

This process is an integral part of any home fire safety plan. Smoke alarms are there to save lives. They give you an early warning that there’s a potential house fire so that you and your family have enough time to evacuate the property.

To maximize your safety, make sure all your smoke alarms have fresh batteries at least once per year. You can also test your carbon monoxide detectors to ensure your home is fully protected. One of the best times to test your alarms is at the start of winter.

6.) Create Enough Ventilation

Whether you have a gas or electric furnace, there should be enough places for the air to circulate. If your home doesn’t already have vents around the furnace area, you may need to call a contractor who can help control the airflow.

Debris and small animals can sometimes make their way into your vents. Therefore, you should inspect them regularly to ensure they’re clear.

7.) Clean the Filters

Dirty or damaged filters can cause a wide range of issues with your heating system. Not only do they make your heaters less efficient, but they can also be a fire hazard.

Make it a habit to clean/replace your filters at least once per month. The filters may need to be replaced more frequently depending on how often you use your furnace.

Contact All Dry USA in the Wake of Fire Damage

No doubt, house fires are a scary thought. Not only are they life-threatening, but they can cause a significant amount of damage to your property. If you practice these tips above, you’ll greatly reduce the risk of your furnace starting a fire.

If your house does suffer fire damage, reach out to our team. We have years of experience helping homeowners restore their homes after accidents. You can count on All Dry USA to provide excellent customer service and affordable estimates all year round.

Ben Suiskind
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