Be careful heating your home in the winter!
During the cold winter months we experience in West Michigan, people are doing just about everything they can to keep warm inside of their homes and apartments. While it's important to stay warm, making sure you are doing it safely is just as important. Many of the tactics people use to keep their house warm are also serious potential fire hazards. Here are some of the things you should keep in mind when heating your home.
Space heaters are an extremely popular method of heating areas of your home that trend colder than the rest of the house. Between 2014 and 2018 space heaters accounted for 14% of all home fires, and 19% of fire related deaths. Space heaters need 3 feet of open space around it to help prevent fires. Never place shoes or other items in front of a space heater to warm them up. As well space heaters should not be plugged into an extension cord, as this can cause them to overheat and start fires. Make sure as well to never leave a space heater on an unattended.
Fire places in homes can be a huge draw for home buyers and while they can make a living space feel comfy and warm during the winter months, they can also be a huge fire hazard. Obviously a fire place will have an open flame, so make sure to keep anything flammable at least 3 feet away at all times. If you use your fire place regularly, you should make sure to have your chimney cleaned at least once a year. Burning wood produces a thick, oily, substance called creosote that builds up in the chimney and is highly flammable.
A well maintained gas furnace is usually the safest and most effective way to heat your home. If your furnace is old or hasn't been properly maintained you could be at risk for carbon monoxide poisoning. With gas furnaces you may also be at risk of natural gas leaks. Gas leaks can cause fires and explosions if ignited.
Dealing with the aftermath of a fire in your home? Give us a call! (616) 647-4300!