Winter Home Heating Safety
According to The American Red Cross, "home fires can happen at any time, but they generally increase during the fall and winter, with December and January being the peak months. Home fires are also more common on Saturday and Sunday, and tend to peak between 6:00 and 7:00 PM."
The reason why fires peak in the winter is because homes are turning on their furnaces, boilers, and space heaters and using them nearly every day. The leading cause of home fires is cooking, but following that is heating equipment. Over 50,000 home fires occur each year, with about half of them occurring in December and January.
This list of Home Heating Safety Facts provided by U.S. Fire Administration demonstrates the severity of neglecting home maintenance service:
- From 2008-2010, an average of 50,100 heating fires in residential buildings occurred in the United States each year and resulted in an annual average of approximately 150 deaths, 575 injuries and $326 million in property loss.
- Heating was the second leading cause of all residential building fires following cooking.
- Residential building heating fires peaked in the early evening hours between 5 and 9 p.m. with the highest peak between 6 and 8 p.m. This 4-hour period accounted for 30 percent of all residential building heating fires.
- Residential building heating fires peaked in January (21 percent) and declined to the lowest point during the summer months from June to August.
- Confined fires, those fires confined to chimneys, flues or fuel burners, accounted for 87 percent of residential building heating fires.
- Thirty percent of the nonconfined residential building heating fires occurred because the heat source was too close to things that can burn.
With all the cooking and time spent indoors during the holiday season, many of us forget about the safety hazards all around us. To ensure that you do not have a home fire this winter, follow these home heating safety tips provided by the NFPA (National Fire Protection Association):
- Keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from heating equipment, like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove, or portable space heater.
- Have a three-foot “kid-free zone” around open fires and space heaters.
- Never use your oven to heat your home.
- Have a qualified professional install stationary space heating equipment, water heaters or central heating equipment according to the local codes and manufacturer’s instructions.
- Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional.
- Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.
- Always use the right kind of fuel, specified by the manufacturer, for fuel burning space heaters.
- Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room. Ashes should be cool before putting them in a metal container. Keep the container a safe distance away from your home.
- Test smoke alarms monthly.
Call Gold Medal Service Today
To help keep you safe and save you money, Gold Medal offers a Total Care Club maintenance program to help maintain your HVAC unit.
If you haven't scheduled your annual home heating safety tune-up, what are you waiting for? Gold Medal Service does a full safety inspection of your heating system, pointing out any potential fire hazards. We also check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to make sure they are working.
Our trusted technicians are available to answer any questions you may have. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to assist you with any problem that may arise.
Call today at (732) 365-3199!
Watch this video for your home heating safety recap: