The Hazards of Home Heating Equipment

Keeping your home comfortably warm during the winter months often requires the use of home heating equipment such as furnaces, fireplaces, or space heaters. Taking proper safety precautions while keeping your home warm this winter can help you and your family stay safe.

Portable Heaters

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) estimates that portable heaters were involved in an average of 1,700 fires per year between 2017-2019. Electric space heaters and other portable heaters can cause fires if they are located too close to combustible materials. That includes curtains, furniture, and bedding. Portable heaters should be located at least three feet away from these materials.

Plug portable heaters directly into a wall outlet; do not use an extension cord or power strip. Only use portable heaters when you’re awake and never refuel a fuel-burning portable heater when it’s in use.

Furnaces, Chimneys, and Fireplaces

Get your fuel-burning heating systems inspected by a professional each year. This includes furnaces, boilers, fireplaces, water heaters, chimneys, flues, vents, and wood stoves.

Cracked, blocked, or dirty chimneys can cause fires. Fireplaces can cause fires if sparks and embers reach materials that are flammable. Fireplaces and chimneys were involved in an average of 15,800 fires each year from 2017-2019.

Fuel-burning heating systems are also a potential source of carbon monoxide, which is odorless and colorless. Heating systems that are not installed correctly, poorly maintained, have defective/blocked venting systems, or are misused can cause carbon monoxide poisoning.

Install smoke alarms on every level of your home as well as inside each bedroom. Carbon monoxide alarms should also be installed on every level of the home and outside sleeping areas. Test the alarms monthly to make sure they’re working and replace the batteries at least once a year – or install alarms with 10-year batteries.

If you or a loved one has been injured, contact the Schuerman Law office today. Schuerman Law has been working with personal injury claims for over 40 years. John Schuerman will compassionately advocate for injured individuals as well as their families while fighting for full compensation of their claims. Schuerman Law offers evening and weekend appointments in addition to home and hospital visits. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 1-800-274-0045.