As the saying goes, “Only you can prevent forest fires.” The idea can be applied to fire safety and awareness inside the home, as the person in charge of these important tasks can usually be found by looking in a mirror.
Being proactive about fire safety inside a home is a simple way to prevent a horrible disaster. And with so much information readily available through the click of a mouse or a little assistance from Siri, there is not much excuse for being ill-informed or ignorant about fire safety issues these days.
One of the easiest, most effective ways to prevent a fire occurring inside a home is just to ditch that old space heater. Space heaters account for 70 percent of home fires that happen in the wintertime, as reported by the National Fire Protection Agency. The fact that stationary heaters are to blame for 86 percent of all fatalities related to home heating fires is also particularly alarming.
The main reason that space heaters cause fires is simply that they are often placed too close to combustible materials such as bedding, clothes, upholstered furniture, paper, and draperies. This is especially sad because, if you have purchased a space heater within the last 20 or 30 years, you would have to try very hard to ignore the copious amount of warnings about where they should be placed inside a home to prevent a fire.
It is not exactly news to state that a space heater should be placed an adequate distance away from combustible materials. It also seems like a no-brainer to point out that a space heater should be placed on a level, non-flammable surface, and that they should never be left on unattended.
Not surprisingly, most residential home heating fires occur in January. It is easy to see why, considering that it is typically the coldest month and space heaters can seem like an attractive solution for a home with areas that are colder than others. Homes that are not properly insulated and/or suffering from a lack of performance from a heating system that is beyond its age can have a number of cold spots, and a space heater can seem like a quick, inexpensive way to solve this problem.
Even a newer system that has not been properly maintained can often function well below its peak operating capacity. Central heating systems are much more efficient than space heaters, so if you have cold spots in your home or it seems like it never gets warm, even though the current system is almost constantly running, it could be worth looking into replacing the system or scheduling an inspection.
According to the National Fire Protection Agency, a central heating system is the safest option for keeping a home warm and comfortable in the winter months. Aside from space heaters, some of the other culprits for winter fires inside a home include kerosene heaters, which can be explosive if fueled improperly, radiators if placed too close to combustible materials, and fireplaces, which can bring devastation to a home as a result of hot flying embers or too much soot in the chimney.
Having the chimney cleaned is a way to help prevent this from happening. A diffusion screen over the fireplace could also be a good idea. It is also worth pointing out that smoke detectors should be tested frequently. Though expensive compared to purchasing a space heater, having your heating system repaired, inspected or replaced is a good idea, if for no other reason than it is much cheaper than dealing with the catastrophic losses that could be incurred if dealing with a fire inside the home.
To schedule an inspection for your current heating system or learn more about having it replaced, please call 910-791-0480, text 910-612-0052, or email [email protected].
Chris Jones and the team at Green Dot HVAC are committed to provide their clients with a consultative, transparent approach, driven by innovative technology and a diligent work ethic. With a team of highly trained and versatile technicians, a focus on helping clients make informed decisions, and a commitment to deliver substantial value, Green Dot HVAC is a leader in the Southeast North Carolina marketplace. To arrange a free at-home consultation, a repair/installation or simply find guidance about the nuances of modern heating and air conditioning systems, call 910-791-0480 or text 910-612-0052.
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