With the increase in energy prices, many homeowners are looking for ways to reduce their heating costs. Here are home heating safety tips to ensure saving money doesn’t mean risking safety.
Home heating safety tips:
#1) Install smoke detectors
According to the U.S. Fire Administration, residential fires are the leading property type for fire-related deaths, fire-related injuries and fire-related financial loss. Installing smoke detectors in areas where they are missing, changing batteries in smoke detectors and testing them regularly is a first line of defense for any homeowner.
Most smoke detectors range from ten to twenty dollars which makes this an inexpensive investment to ramp up fire safety in your home. Smoke detectors should be installed inside each bedroom, outside each sleeping area, and on every level of a home, including the basement.
#2) Inspect furnace/heating system
Sixteen percent of fires are related to home heating equipment, which means the next home heating safety tip is to have regular inspection and maintenance performed on home heating equipment. While HVAC inspections can cost from $250-400, most homeowners pay an average of $300.
Having home heating equipment inspected and maintained will reduce the risk of having a mechanical failure, gas leak or other fire-related issue but will also extend the life of your system. To schedule an inspection of your home heating equipment, contact us at Pilchuck Heating.
If you are unable to schedule a professional inspection, a homeowner can look for signs of the following:
- rust or corrosion, which could signal a leak;
- unusual odors, which could indicate excessive heating or a gas leak;
- frayed or damaged wiring.
#3) Avoid space heaters
There are definitely times when space heaters are necessary to warm a specific room, but their safety record indicates they should be avoided as much as possible, especially at night. In fact, the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission attributed 10,900 residential fires to space heaters, and 190 were deadly.
If you must use a space heater, follow the space heater safety tips:
- Inspect the heater before use. Do not use if there are frayed wires or other signs of damage.
- Do not use around children or pets.
- Keep the space heater on a level surface and at least three feet away from anything flammable.
- Unplug the heater at bedtime and at other times it is not in use.
- Only use space heaters with a safety feature to turn off when tipped over.
#4) Never heat your home with an oven
Ovens naturally warm a home while cooking but it should never be used as a source of heat. Ovens increase the risk of fire danger in the home, but they also have been the cause of carbon monoxide poisoning.
This odorless, colorless gas is released and can have fatal consequences. Even small amounts of carbon monoxide can cause headaches, weakness, dizziness and shortness of breath. For more information about carbon monoxide poisoning, visit the Center for Disease Control CDC fact sheet here.
#5) Practice fireplace/wood stove safety
Fireplaces and wood stoves can be used to heat a home safely, but it is important to follow these guidelines.
- Have the chimney cleaned annually.
- Install a safety fence and gate to keep young children or animals at a safe distance.
- Do not leave the fire burning unattended and/or when sleeping.
- Burn only dry wood.
- Allow ash to completely cool before cleaning and removing it. Never dispose of ash near a home.
We want you to save energy and hope these home heating safety tips will keep you safe while doing so. For more information about inspecting or installing high efficiency heating and cooling equipment, contact us at Pilchuck Heating.
More Tips for Homeowners: