Pointers for Staying Safe Around Your Furnace
Having a working furnace is the best way to ensure that you stay warm during the colder days of the year. If you’ve recently purchased a furnace or are moving into a home with one in it, there are some general safety tips that you should know.
Give It Open Space
In the course of cleaning and organizing your house, you may be tempted to take advantage of that open space near your furnace to stack boxes or bins. This is a big no-no, as your furnace needs room to breathe. If you enclose the area around your heater with objects, it can hinder its performance and even create a fire hazard.
Have a Fire Extinguisher in Your Home
Furnaces have been known to catch fire for a variety of reasons. It’s best to be prepared in the event that your unit catches fire. You’ll want to have a fire extinguisher somewhere near your furnace. Be mindful of where you’re placing the extinguisher since you’ll want to have quick access to it.
Always Have Carbon Monoxide and Smoke Detectors On
While your furnace is designed to operate without letting off smoke or emitting carbon monoxide, it can malfunction from time to time. It’s best to be prepared for these malfunctions to ensure your family’s safety. You’ll want to install carbon monoxide and smoke detectors on every level of your residence.
It’s best to go around and test each detector once a month to ensure that it’s working correctly. Additionally, you should be replacing the batteries in each detector every six months to a year. This will help to make sure that you’re alerted in the event of a fire or carbon monoxide emission.
Keep Your Vents Open
If you have unused rooms in your house, such as a spare bedroom, it can be tempting to close the vents in that room. This isn’t a good idea, though, as your heating system’s ventilation system is designed in a specific fashion to heat your entire home. If you close off more than 20% of the vents that are present in your residence, it’s likely that you’re going to cause your furnace to overheat.
Keep the Area Clean
Once you move any boxes or storage containers away from your furnace, you may think that your job is done. However, that’s not the case. You should be vacuuming the area around your heater at least once a month. Debris like dust, lint, and pet dander can be the perfect kindling to start a furnace fire.
Odd Smells Can Mean Danger
If you notice an odd smell either near your furnace or throughout your home, it’s important to consider your heater as the source. For example, if you smell rotten eggs, it’s an indication that there’s a natural gas leak in your house. It’s vital that you shut off the fuel supply and call in a professional as well as the fire department. You should never just live with odd smells, as fuel emissions can be dangerous to your family’s health, and many are highly flammable.
Identify Your Fuel Shut-off
While you won’t need to use it often, it’s a good idea to identify where your fuel shut-off valve is. This is essential in cases of leaks. Make sure that all adults living in your household are aware of the fuel shut-off’s location. If need be, consider painting it a bright yellow or red color to make it easier to identify.
Light Up the Area
Since furnaces are typically placed in basements, it’s common for there to be poor lighting around them. This can make it difficult to perform maintenance on your system and see if there are any unexpected leaks or debris. You should take the time to have adequate lighting installed over your furnace so that you can easily see it.
Set Child Safety Rules
If you have children in your home, you need to set boundaries regarding your furnace. It’s typically best to start by explaining the dangers that come along with your furnace so that your children truly understand. Be sure to set boundary markers for how close they may be around the heater at any point in time. If your children are very young, perhaps banning them entirely from the room that the furnace is in would be best.
Outstanding Heating Service Experts
Mullen Plumbing, Heating and Cooling is your outstanding heating service expert for the South Charleston area. We can also assist with your cooling, plumbing, ductwork, and indoor air quality needs. Give us a call today to book your next service appointment.