It is important to stay warm and comfortable in the winter. Be aware of the potential dangers with furnaces and other heating sources.
Heat Safety Tips
Your should inspect your furnace yearly. Make sure it is working efficiently and ensure that there is no serious problem that could be dangerous. Check that all switches and knobs work properly. Make sure all walls near the heating unit aren’t in a different color. Also, make sure no garbage or debris are directly next to the unit. If you don’t know what to look for in the inspection, have a professional come out to check the equipment for you. Finally, leave the repair work to professionals as well, unless you are qualified.
Do you use a wood stove or fireplace to heat your home? Be sure this equipment is properly installed, and aren’t within three feet of combustible surfaces. It is a good idea to keep a screen in front of the fireplace opening to prevent sparks from flying out. Stoves should be burned twice a day for around 30 minutes to prevent creosote buildup – but NEVER burn coal indoors. Of course, make sure fires are completely out before going to sleep or leaving the home. Similar to your furnace, have chimneys inspected and cleaned (if necessary) annually.
Other things you should keep in mind when heating your home in the winter: Don’t discard hot ashes inside or anywhere near your home – place them in a metal container outside. Do not use an oven as a heating source; it is a safety hazard and can release potentially toxic fumes into the air. In these below-zero temperatures, pipes may freeze, and it is tempting to thaw them in any way possible; however, do not use any devise with an open flame, such as a blow torch, to thaw pipes. As always, practice proper evacuation procedure in the event of a fire.
Courtesy of FEMA