November 30th, 2013 10:32 PM by Dan Howard
According to the NFPA (National Fire Protection Association), heating
equipment is the second leading cause of home fire fatalities after smoking. It
is also the major cause of carbon monoxide in the home. There are some simple
safety precautions you should take.
The suggestion that you know about is to have your furnace
serviced each year. The operation and venting of furnaces needs checked. Complex
new furnaces can be put out of commission by failure of a simple part.
Maintenance can avoid that ice cube for a house feeling. As a bonus, you may save fuel costs with a
properly adjusted furnace.
There is common
serious problem that you have not heard about and is often ignored by heating
professionals. You want to
hire a furnace technician who will look at ALL of the gas appliances in the
home. High efficiency furnaces can cause an intermittent problem of a furnace
pulling carbon monoxide back into a home from other gas appliances such as gas
clothes dryers, hot water tanks and fireplaces. If you occasional smell the odor of natural gas or headaches, the
cause could be an furnace drawing combustion products back into your home from
these other appliances. Return air ducts
too close to these appliances can also cause the same problems
If you smell gas, turn off gas at the exterior
meter and have the cause immediately corrected.
If pilot lights go out, you smell gas around the
hot water tank, fireplaces exhaust smoke back into the home, or you smell gas
when the clothes dryer is working, the probable cause is the furnace vent. This
needs addressed ASAP.
Place space heaters in protected areas surrounded
by noncombustible surfaces away from pets and children.
Do not fill portable heaters with liquid fuels
Do not use extension cords with space heaters.
Turn portable heaters off when leaving a room or
going to bed.