National Fire Prevention Week kicks off today with the theme, “Hear the Beep Where You Sleep.” The main message this year is to install smoke alarms in the appropriate areas and make sure they function properly. Visit NFPA’s “Smoke Alarm Central” for more information.
In addition to installing and inspecting your smoke alarms, we are encouraging everyone to inspect their furnace/heating system for potential fire hazards. Did you know heating systems are the number 2 cause of home fires following cooking?
Natural Gas Furnace Safety Tips
Here are a few safety tips you can follow to prevent fires due to gas furnace heating:
- Have your furnace inspected by a professional before the heating season begins. Fall is the perfect time to schedule a professional furnace tune-up.
- Leave furnace repairs to the professionals. When your HVAC technician inspects your furnace, they will check: the flue, vent connections, physical condition of heating components, gas pressure, flame color, burner combustion, dirt and cracks, fuel input, airflow, thermostat, electrical connections, and more.
- Make sure you know how to turn off the gas at the main valve, near your gas meter:
- Check for gas leaks in your furnace:
- If you smell gas, turn off the gas at the main valve, don’t ignite anything (including turning on or off lights and electrical devices), and leave the area immediately. Call the fire department or local gas company from a cell phone or neighbor’s house.
- Check the walls and ceiling around your furnace. If there is soot or discoloration, call a professional to inspect your ventilation.
- Inspect your flue pipes and seams. Are they in place? Soot can indicate that your have a dirty, inefficient furnace and/or a faulty ventilation system.
- Check the area around your furnace. Many furnace fires are the result of flammable objects and substances near the furnace. Keep paper, trash, paint, and other flammable material far away from your furnace.
- Regularly clean and vacuum the area around your furnace.
- Maintain a child-free zone around your furnace.
- Check your furnace filter every 30 days and wait no longer than 90 days to clean or replace it. This will also improve your airflow and furnace efficiency.
- Check your furnace flame and make sure it is blue. If it is any other color, it needs to be inspected by a professional.
- Keep operational fire extinguishers handy.
- Plan and memorize a fire escape plan. Make sure everyone knows the safe meeting place.
- Finally, make sure you have smoke and CO alarms installed throughout your home. Refer to this image for placement suggestions:
With cooler months quickly approaching, we want you to be confident in the reliability of your heating system. If you think your system is beyond maintaining and may need replacing, we are here to help.
Signs Your Need to Replace Your Furnace:
- Your boiler or furnace is more than 15 years old.
- Your system breaks down frequently.
- You notice a sudden increase in heating bills.
- Indoor humidity issues or excessive dust buildup.
For more information about heating and air conditioning service and repair or heating and air conditioning home safety, call Interstate Heating & Air Conditioning at 405-794-8900.
Don’t forget to schedule your heating/furnace tune-up for winter! Schedule service online or give us a call!