How to Prepare
Every year in the US, heating equipment related fires kill over 500 people, injure nearly 1500, and cause more than $900 million in property damages. Have you properly prepared your furnace and your home for a safe heating season?
The following are some of the things that you should do to get ready:
- Have your furnace inspected by a licensed technician annually. He or she will make sure that your furnace is running efficiently and check it out for damage and leaks which could lead to carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning.
- Have your fireplace chimney inspected on a yearly basis. Soot buildup can easily cause a chimney fire.
- Carbon Monoxide is a silent killer. Place a CO detector in your home to warn you of a heating appliance malfunction.
- Ensure that you have a working smoke detector on each level of your home.
- Your family should have and practice a fire escape plan.
- Maintain a three foot clearance between all heating equipment and anything that can burn.
Causes of Equipment Fires
Of the more than 60,000 heating equipment fires that occur every year in the US, the main causes were;
- Combustibles placed too close to heating equipment.
- Lack of maintenance of the heating appliance or chimney.
As the temperature drops, the number of fires caused by heating equipment rises. Heating equipment is the number one cause of fires during December, January, and February. Remember that almost all fires are preventable. Take the necessary steps to safeguard your family during this heating season.