Freezing and frigid temperatures hit this weekend, and they surely haven’t loosened their grip.
With winter weather this cold, we know that a lot of you are spending more time at home either next to the fire or posted up in front of the heater. It is important then that your heating systems have been properly maintained and are in good working condition.
Your furnace, boiler or chimney should be serviced annually in order to prevent fire and smoke damage.
The number one thing you need to know about your furnace is where the emergency shutoffs are located. Be aware of the control panel and know how it works. The more familiar you are with the system, the more likely you are to know when it is malfunctioning.
You should regularly inspect the walls and ceiling near the furnace for discoloration or abnormally high temperatures. This may be a sign that you need additional insulation or clearance space.
Seeing soot? This is typically an indicator of cracks or holes in your flue pipe or pipe seams.
If you suspect that there is an issue with your furnace, do not try to fix it yourself, instead leave it to a trained professional.
For those of you using a fireplace or wood stove, we’ve got a few safety tips to ensure that you are using them in a manner that helps to minimize fire risk:
- DO NOT USE A FLAMMABLE LIQUID TO START OR ACCELERATE THE FIRE
- All woodstoves should be installed so that it has a minimum 36” of clearance from any combustible surface
- Be sure that your woodstove is UL listed
- Keep a metal or glass screen in front of your fireplace opening – this will help prevent sparks from flying out or unwanted material from entering
- Do not burn charcoal indoors! It can give off lethal amounts of carbon monoxide
- When going to bed, put the fire out completely – a fire not watched is a dangerous fire
Source – Winter Fires: Safety Tips for the Home
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