7 Heating Safety Tips for the Winter
Who needs heating safety tips in Florida? Well, you do. Sure, what you call “cold” depends on where you live, really. If you’re in Boulder, you’re going to have a different notion of cold than someone in Tampa Bay. But even Florida gets chilly sometimes, and, with the holidays drawing near, you’re going to want to be comfortably warm. And that’s where home heating safety comes in.
Heating Safety Tips Could Save Your Life
In 2015, the last year for which statistics are available, there were 41,200 residential heating fires in the U.S., resulting in 165 dead and almost 600 injured, as well as $392,000,000 lost in residential building heating fires. The highest percent predictably took place in the winter months and originated in either the kitchen or the heating area.
The worst thing about these statistics? Most residential fires were caused by entirely preventable factors. Responsible homeowners should be able to go through a few simple steps to keep their family and property safe.
Home Heating Safety for the Winter Season
What, then, should you be doing to keep everything in perfect order? Here are our heating safety tips, from best practices to preparing for the worst.
- Test your smoke alarms. You should do that every other month or so, but more often in the winter when there are so many more danger factors. It’s a little thing, but it saves lives.
- Keep heating equipment in a clutter-free area. The fireplace, the cooker, the furnace, the space heater – all should observe the three-foot rule: nothing within that distance should be placed there for any significant amount of time. No newspapers next to the space heater, no paper cups near the cooker, no socks close to the fireplace. Also, teach kids early on to stay away from these areas.
- Heating equipment should be installed by a professional. There are dozens of reasons to only have an expert deal with HVAC installation, but here are two top heating safety tips to take away: 1. Any tiny mistake will end up costing more, and 2. Any tiny mistake might end up being a health and safety hazard. If your cousin sets up your computer, you might lose your data. If your cousin sets up your heating equipment, you may lose your computer, your house and more. Contact a local heating repair expert.
- Check your chimney. Chimney trouble is one of the leading causes of residential fires. Making sure your chimney is clean and structurally sound is a matter of life or death. Creosote deposits or cracks could be invisible to the naked eye, yet start fires even as you sleep.
- Use a fireplace screen. It may take away a tiny bit of the beauty of an open fireplace, but it could save your life. Choose the prettiest screen, but – especially when you’re not in the room – make sure there’s no way for a rogue spark to set your living room ablaze.
- Check your HVAC system. Everything matters. Clean filters are a big deal. Fuel is a big deal. A healthy furnace is essential. Water boilers, clean ducts, working thermostats – all could spell the difference between a comfortable winter with your loved ones or a world of trouble.
- Make sure you have insurance. Always consider the worst case scenario. Something may go wrong, despite your best efforts. A candle may tip over on Christmas Eve. One of the kids may trip over the Christmas lights and cause a cascading catastrophe. Insurance will give you your comfort back.
Come to think of it, one of the top heating safety tips anyone will give you is simply to follow your expert’s instructions. Believe it or not, most are really looking after your best interest! At Air Hawk, we are trusted by thousands because we are there for our communities and care about the comfort, health, and safety of our clients. Check out our air conditioning service areas and, if you’re our neighbor from near or far, give us call at (813) 929-4295 to make your winter season as safe as it is warm!