As winter approaches in northeast Ohio, you’ll soon be turning on your furnace or enjoying a cozy fire. While fireplaces and gas-operated heating systems are generally very safe, there are some things you can do to decrease the hazards associated with heating your home. Follow these home safety tips to help keep your family safe this heating season.
- Schedule annual preventive maintenance on your furnace to keep it running safely and efficiently. A comprehensive tune-up by a qualified HVAC professional will include checking for carbon monoxide leaks, tightening gas and electrical connections and testing the gas pressure and burner combustion.
- Change your air filter each month to prevent fire hazards.
- Know where your gas shutoff valve is located and keep it accessible in case of an emergency.
- Post the emergency phone number of your gas company on your furnace and call immediately if you smell gas around your unit. If you can’t reach the gas company, call 911.
- Keep your furnace clean and accessible.
- Store flammable materials at least 15 feet away from your furnace.
- Have your chimney inspected and cleaned annually to prevent fire hazards. A qualified chimney sweep will remove debris and critters from your chimney, inspect the interior and exterior for damage and ensure the flue and damper are in good working order for proper ventilation.
- Always use a fireplace screen to keep sparks from flying out. Replace your screen when it shows signs of wear.
- Keep your hearth free of flammable materials and knickknacks.
- Make sure your fire is completely out before retiring at night.
Carbon monoxide safety
- Install a CO detector on every floor of your home. Press the test buttons every six months to ensure they’re working, and replace the batteries every year.
- Know the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, which include dizziness, nausea and headache. Call 911 and move to fresh air if you suspect a CO leak.
For more expert home safety tips, please feel free to contact us at Stack Heating & Cooling. We’re here to help.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Cleveland, Ohio about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about home safety tips and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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