Winter Heating Safety | SERVPRO® of Billings
While the official start of the winter season passed by in late December, we have been feeling the chill for some time now. Even with a few warmups in between our snow storms, there is a good chance you have had your heat on since October.
In our cold climate heating systems get a lot of work, but without proper preparations, they could create a fire hazard for your home.
With winter here lasting well into April, you deserve to stay warm and cozy for the long run. Take care of your heating equipment and prevent risks all season long.
Most of our homes likely have a furnace and HVAC system that is responsible for heating your space. Furnaces, like all other kinds of systems, require regular maintenance to function their best and last for their full lifespan. Hopefully you have already given your system a solid checkup this year, but if you have not, take a warm day to make sure it is clean and free of dust.
The air filter in your system is an important part of ensuring things are running correctly and keeping the air in your home cleaner, so change it regularly. A good standard is every 90 days, but if you have pets, you may want to change it more often. The start of a new season is a great reminder to perform this part of maintaining your system.
Fireplaces can set the mood of a whole room and are often a focal point in homes. Wood, gas and electric fireplaces are all allowed in our area, with electric fireplaces becoming increasingly more popular. Some homes in our area may also have a wood-burning stove, as these were popular ways to add additional heat to spaces during our long winters.
No matter what kind of fireplace you have in your home, maintaining it is crucial to avoid fires. Most homes with a chimney should be inspected and cleaned every season.
If you have a wood-burning fireplace or stove, the chimney or pipes will need to be cleared of blockages and have soot and smoke stains removed. Fireplaces that have been converted to gas or electric should still be inspected to ensure there is nothing in the chimney that could spark a fire. Whatever you use to close off the front of your fireplace should be cleaned and dusted often, as should any removable logs.
Since we often deal with frigid temperatures, it is pretty common to add a few space heaters to our heating arsenal. These electric heaters are a great way to warm up a room quickly; however, they are also one of the leading causes of home fires when used improperly.
Run your space heater in an open space away from any materials. Turn it off at bedtime or any time you leave the house. Always plug space heaters directly into wall sockets that are designed to carry their electrical load and skip extension cords.
Put your space heater on a flat, solid surface where it isn’t likely to be knocked over. Modern space heaters have an automatic shut-off feature that kicks in when they are moved, so if yours does not, consider upgrading to a new one.
Make sure young ones in your home understand how to stay safe around all of your heating equipment, and install proper childproofing. A single accident is all it takes to create complete chaos in your home. Stay safe and pile on the blankets knowing your home is fire-ready.
If you experience fire damage this season, give us a call at SERVPRO of Billings for immediate assistance. We’re here 24⁄7 when you need us!