By now you are probably sick of the cold weather (we sure are!). With the cold weather comes home heating. Whatever method you use for heating, whether it be a furnace, kerosene heater or a fireplace, there are safety rules you should follow to prevent a fire.
We can’t stress enough the importance of furnace maintenance, but always be sure the controls and emergency shutoffs are working properly. You should also inspect the walls near the furnace; if you notice they are discolored you may need additional pipe insulation. Soot around pipe seams may indicate a leak, so check the pipes for holes as well. Make sure the area around the furnace is clear of garbage and other combustible debris.
Just like the furnace, fireplaces and chimneys should be inspected every year. Indoor fireplaces should have a glass or metal screen in front to prevent sparks from flying out. Never use flammable liquids to start the chimney fire or burn charcoal inside. Follow the directions that come with synthetic logs. Keep the area in front of the fireplace clear of flammable materials.
The heater should be in working condition and have an emergency shut off. Only use the heater with the recommended fuel, and in a room with proper ventilation. Keep small children away from the heater, as clothing can be easily ignited. Store and refill fuel outside the house.
For added safety, make sure you have functioning smoke alarms on each floor of your home, and have an emergency fire escape plan for your entire family. Last but not least, call Heatmasters for a furnace inspection if you haven’t already done so!
Courtesy of FEMA