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With the cold winter weather on the way in Maine, it’s important to check your home heating systems to be sure they are maintained properly and in sound condition. Here are some easy to follow safety tips to keep in mind for ensuring a safe and happy home for you and your family this winter. 


Have Your Furnace Checked 

Make sure you contact a professional heating contractor to get your furnace checked thoroughly, at frequent intervals. Doing this will allow you to have some peace of mind regarding the efficiency of the heating system. Be sure to explain the exact problems to the professional, if there are any. This will help him solve the problems better and faster.


Clear the Furnace and Vents 

Be sure there are no rags, old newspapers, cardboard boxes or any other kind of flammable materials near the heating system before you start any repairing activities. You should also clean the vents thoroughly. If the ventilation system of the heating unit is not maintained properly or the airway is blocked, the furnace can cause a large blaze, leading to a dangerous situation. Make sure any kind of object, which is flammable, is kept at least three feet away from all the different heating equipment that you have at home. This includes furnaces, fireplaces, wood stoves and space heaters.


Clean the Chimney 

If the heating system at your place has a chimney, make sure it’s thoroughly cleaned at least once a year. If it’s not in regular use, there are high chances that you suddenly discover a small animal, with its nest, residing in your chimney. Consider contacting a heating contractor if you think that it’s not possible for you to check the chimney on your own.  However, be sure to clean the chimney before you use it for the first time this winter.


Turn Portable Heaters Off 

Be sure to turn off the portable heaters before going to sleep or going out. It doesn’t really make sense to keep the heater on when you are not indoors. At the same time, you won’t be able to notice if there is a fire hazard when you are sleeping. Make sure you use the home heating systems properly and turn those off when these are not being monitored. This will help you ensure complete security for your home. 


Follow General Heating Safety Rules 

Apart from keeping the home heating system in a sound condition, it’s also essential to follow some general heating safety rules. For instance, you should never use an oven to heat your home. Also, be sure to use the correct fuel, which has been specified by the manufacturer, in case you are using a fuel burning space heater. You should also test the smoke alarms at frequent intervals.


Follow the Safety Tips for Heating Equipment

Consider contacting a qualified heating contractor for installing the stationary space heating equipment or the central heating equipment. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions while installing a wood burning stove. Make sure you keep the portable generators away from your house in order to avoid accidents.


Follow the Fireplace Safety Tips

Be sure to follow the fireplace safety tips thoroughly. Keep a sturdy screen in front of the fireplace so that the sparks don’t flow into the living room. If you are planning to put the fire ashes into a covered metal container, be sure to cool it properly. Don’t put these ashes into a plastic container. Also, keep these ashes at a safe distance from your home.


Change Your Smoke Detector Batteries 

If there is a smoke detector in your heating system, be sure to change the batteries at frequent intervals, ideally twice a year. If you have not been doing this consistently, do it before turning on the furnace for the first time. You should remember that heating equipment fires often happen to be one of the most common causes of home fires. If you change the batteries of the smoke detector, it will function properly and all your family members will be notified as soon a fire occurs.

Safety tips courtesy of Home Energy Pros | homeenergypros.lbl.gov

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