heating safety

Ensure Peace of Mind & Warmth with These Heating Safety Tips

While the weather hasn’t been  particularly abrasive these past few weeks, we’re still experiencing low temperatures at night.  Whether you’re enjoying the cooler temperatures or are counting the days until summer, we hope that you’re keeping warm!

Thanks to technology, we’re now able to keep warm in a variety of ways – through means of not only fires, but furnaces, electric blankets, space heaters, and more. Regardless of whichever method you prefer, it’s important to be vigilant towards heating safety.

When the air is crisp, seek comfort and warmth in your home; but make sure to follow these safety tips!

Space Heater

Heating equipment, if used properly, can be our greatest friend, a source of unending warmth; however, when used improperly, it can cause serious injury, or even death. In 2010, there were nearly 57,100 heating equipment-related home fires in the U.S., resulting in 490 deaths and 1,540 injuries.

  • When purchasing a space heater, make sure you buy one that has been tested by a recognized and certified laboratory.
  • Keep a 3-foot open area around your space heater. If blankets, clothing, or curtains are touching your heating equipment for an extended period of time, a fire could erupt.
  • Ensure that everyone who is allowed to use the space heater knows how to properly turn it on and off.
  • If you are using a fuel-burning space heater, keep doors open to the rest of the house to allow for proper airflow.
  • Always turn your space heater off when you are not in the room, and before you go to bed.

Furnace

You rely on your furnace to carry the brunt of the work. With out it your home would be especially uncomfortable. To avoid costly repairs and days without heat to keep you warm and cozy, take good care of your furnace!

  • Have your furnace inspected and maintained by a professional technician. This will ensure any potential problems are found and that your system is up to par.
  • Change your air filter every one to three months. A dirty, clogged filter can harm your indoor air quality, not to mention it could cause damage to your system, forcing it to fail prematurely.
  • Install and test your carbon monoxide detectors. CO is an odorless gas that has the potential to cause serious harm to one’s health.
  • Keep the area around your furnace clear of debris and shrubbery.

Electric Blanket

If you’re looking to cut costs but not comfort, electric blankets may be the way to go for your household. Similar to space heaters, however, they have the potential to cause damage to you and your home if used improperly.

  • Purchase an electric blanket that has been tested by a nationally recognized laboratory.
  • Do not use this type of blanket overnight. The best practice is to turn it on thirty minutes before you go to bed. Then, once you’ve settled in, turn it off to avoid potential harm and overuse.
  • Routinely inspect your blanket for bent or frayed wiring. If you notice any damage to your blanket, replace it right away. Do not continue to use your current one.
  • When it comes time to store your blanket, gently roll it; do not fold it.

Fireplace

When the family’s all together in the living room watching a movie, or when it’s a cold weekend morning, you may turn to your fireplace for warmth. But before you light a log, make sure your fireplace is up for the task.

  • Have your chimney cleaned and inspected before use. By removing all the dirt, soot and debris, you can light a fire with peace of mind. Further, an inspection will determine if your chimney has taken on damage.
  • Be careful about the kind of wood your burn. It’s best to use dense wood, such as oak, rather than green or pine wood, which produce creosote.
  • Use a spark guard to prevent embers from escaping.
  • Ensure there is proper protection surrounding your fireplace to prevent kids or animals from getting too close.
  • Never leave a fire unattended.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher nearby for safety measures.
  • After you’ve lit a fire, keep the glass doors open.
  • Never use your hands to tend to a fire; always use the proper equipment.
  • Close the damper only when the embers have completely stopped burning.
  • Don’t leave your house or go to bed until you’re completely sure that the fire is out.

For information or assistance with HVAC efficiency, give Interstate Heating & Air Conditioning a call at 405-794-8900.

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