If you're like me, fire safety is always a top priority. Recently I received a 2005 report from the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) that I found extremely alarming; after reviewing the information I felt the need to share it with you.
According to the study, there were 62,200 reported home structure fires that involved heating equipment. That's the equivalent of every home in El Cajon, Alpine, La Mesa and Lakeside having a heating related fire in the same year. That unacceptable!
What troubles me most is these fires could have been avoided with common sense and some preventive maintenance. Following the some simple guidelines can help you avoid a heating related fire this winter:
If you use your fireplace as a primary source of heat have your chimney inspected and cleaned as needed.
If you are using a portable heating device: Only operate it when somebody is in the room, be sure that it is located away from draperies and other combustibles materials. If it is electric, be sure the electrical cord is in good shape and don't use extension cords. If it is fuel-burning only used approved fuels in a well ventilated area.
If you have a wall heater or central heating system:
• Have a heating tune-up and safety inspection to verify that they are operating safely and running at maximum efficiency.
• Furnaces are typically located in closets, attics and other discrete areas. If there's a problem you may not know about it right way.
A couple of items worth noting, Older furnaces don't have the necessary safety devices to offer protection in the event of a malfunction. Safety devices on newer furnaces need to be inspected and checked for proper operation. A filter change is only a very small part of a proper tune-up and safety inspection.
Don’t become a statistic…Be safe, have a licensed contractor inspect your heating system EVERY year.