We need to remind Richmond Hill residents how we can prepare for and prevent home fires. Since statistics show that heating systems are one of the main causes of home fires, second only to cooking equipment, it is important to be aware of furnace safety. Fortunately, there are some basic tips that can help to reduce the risk of fire and keep your home and family safe and prepared for emergencies.
Furnace Fire Causes
Furnaces can become hot, especially when they are in constant use during winter. This heat means that you should keep the area around your furnace clear. Most of the fire deaths in Richmond Hill are the result of combustible materials being left near a heat source, usually a furnace. Ideally, there should be at least a three-foot area of space around your furnace to reduce the risk of fire.
You should also check the walls near the furnace to check for discoloration or heat. If you notice any of these signs in the vicinity, call a professional heating expert from Novel Care to check for gas furnace dangers.
Carbon Monoxide Awareness in Richmond Hill
As a side effect of burning fuel for heat, your furnace will produce potentially dangerous fumes. Some of these fumes, including carbon monoxide, can be odourless, which makes them especially dangerous. This odourless gas is produced as a byproduct of combustion when common fuel-burning appliances and equipment that use natural gas, oil, wood, propane and kerosene don’t get enough air to burn up completely. Fortunately, furnaces are designed to safely vent these fumes outside. Therefore, to avoid carbon monoxide build-up in the house, it is important to ensure that your vents are clear of any obstructions or debris.
Carbon Monoxide, also known as CO, is a poisonous gas that you can’t see, smell or taste. CO is often referred to as the “silent killer”.
Carbon monoxide at home can build up, especially in a confined room or space – and this can lead to toxic effects on humans and pets.
CO has warning signs by how it affects humans. CO poisoning causes flu-like symptoms, including:
- burning eyes
CO poisoning makes it difficult for your body to absorb oxygen. In severe cases, it can cause brain damage and death. The elderly, children and people with heart or respiratory issues may feel the effects sooner than others. Even small amounts of CO gas can be dangerous.
The best way to ensure that you and your family in Richmond Hill are not exposed to carbon monoxide is to eliminate this poisonous gas at the source. Here is a list to follow when it comes to CO safety.
- Have fuel-burning appliances installed by a professional Novel Care technician with over 35 years of experience.
- Have all your fuel-burning appliances and vents are inspected annually.
- Keep chimneys clear of small animals, leaves, and other debris to ensure proper ventilation.
- Ensure your furnace is inspected for adequate ventilation.
- Install a working carbon monoxide alarm near all sleeping areas in your home.
- Remember to test your CO alarms once a month by pushing the test button on the unit.
Small Animals Can Cause a Furnace Fire
Leaves and small animals can get into your vents, so it is a good idea to establish a routine of checking your vents are clear. If you’re a cat owner, you may notice your cat sitting on the heating vent that distributes air for your forced air furnace. It might not even be that cold in the house or outside yet, but cats love sitting on furnace registers. Cats, like any other animal, are constantly searching for comfort. You might think that your cat is smart enough to avoid all danger in your home on its own, but it may or may not understand where the danger lies. In your basement, there are several HVAC dangers, including your furnace. Sitting near or on the furnace shouldn’t be something you encourage. There is always a chance they get too close to the pilot light or brush up against a hot tube or duct. Cat and small animals pose a furnace fire hazard.