Nearly 55,000 fires caused by heat equipment happen each annually in US homes. Although not all of them are directly connected to the furnace in the home (about three-quarters are due with space heaters) the ones that took place near or in the vicinity of furnaces are often avoidable. The dangers of fire in furnaces are real, however they are very easy to avoid if one develops awareness of the factors which contribute to them.
Four of the most frequent causes of furnace fires are:
1.) A lack of clearance between the furnace and the walls, ceilings shelves or other appliances. There should be sufficient space between the furnace and the walls surrounding it as well as the ceiling above. In the event that they are not, they could overheat which can cause an explosion.
There is no standard distance (although just a few inches is nearly never enough) because it’s contingent on the type of furnace you have and where it is within your home, and what the local building code requires. If you’re not certain, there are two options. First, you should check the building code of your region. Then, contact a furnace or HVAC repair technician. A trained professional can identify if you’re suffering from an upcoming fire risk in your hands.
2.) Items that were placed near an on-off light. A homeowner who had her furnace close to her washing machine suffered an explosion when the laundry pile touched an on-off light. Clothing items are easy to be caught on fire. Make sure to keep the area around the opening to the pilot light free of any debris or household objects.
3.) The storage of combustible materials is too close. Certain materials do not need to be exposed to the pilot light to start the fire. Cleaning chemicals, solvents, and other similar substances ac coil cleaning. The vapors aren’t visible and a homeowner would never be aware of them. The pilot light or the heat of the furnace could cause these vapors to ignite and lead to a fire or massive explosion.
4) Clean parts and clogged filters. Expert furnaces and HVAC technicians suggest an annual cleaning of your furnace. The cleaning will eliminate dirt, gunk and debris that accumulates inside your furnace as time passes. If you wait some time or more without cleaned, you could be at the risk of catching burning.
The filter in your unit can cause fire hazards. It is recommended furnace cleaning service to change your filter between 3 and 6 months to every year (about every six months is the an average) dependent on the brand and model of the unit. Filters are simple to replace and most homeowners are able to do it themselves. Filters are also affordable and are well-worth the cost for protection against fire.
A Note on Carbon Monoxide
Carbon monoxide (CO) is a transparent and odorless gas with no odor. It is the byproduct of combustion. The furnace will naturally emit it, however a well up-to-date heating device will release it outof your home.
If your furnace is filthy or your vents or chimney are filled with debris or creosote accumulation, your unit won’t be able properly vent CO. Instead, it will accumulate within the home.
Carbon monoxide is toxic. When inhaled, it could imprison and kill an individual in a matter of minutes. Since it’s not visible or smelled, you could be overwhelmed by it before you know that there’s a problem.
Maintaining your furnace in a proper manner and cleaned can help avoid carbon monoxide poisoning in your home. Installing an CO detector to monitor carbon monoxide within your indoor air will notify you when carbon monoxide levels reach dangerous levels within your house.
An Introduction about Space Heaters
There’s no reason not to be making use of space heaters to avoid the risk of fire. Space heaters of the present are more built and designed than the older models. A lot of them are designed to stop heating coils from coming in contact with items that are flammable and then shut off completely in the event of a fall.
If you’re using an older-style space heater it’s better to throw it away it and get a brand new one with the latest technology and integrated safety features such as those described. To ensure safety, you should adhere to the manufacturer’s guidelines regarding where it must be located, how it must be connected, and how much room must be available surrounding it.