Friday, October 8, 2010


With the onset of winter, you will start hearing a lot more about fire prevention.  This is because with the colder weather, heat systems and auxiliary heating devices are used in the home, adding to the risk of fire.  Here are some tips to make sure you take precautions to prevent fires from occurring in your home:
  • Have your heating system inspected.  With regular servicing of your heating system, you benefit by burning less fuel and a system that gets regular service is less likely to break down.
  • Gas-fired furnaces should be serviced yearly and inspected.  Since gas-fired furnaces burn cleaner than oil-fired furnaces, you need not have the flue cleaned every year, but the flue should be checked to make sure there are no obstructions.  Your service tech will:
    • Check for C.O. leaks
    • Inspect the blower system
    • Inspect gas lines
    • Inspect flue system
    • Check filter
    • Check Heat Exchanger
  • You can save yourself costly repair by just changing your furnace filter on a regular basis.  Remember, even in the summer you need to change your filter if you have central air conditioning.  The blower on your furnace is the same one that circulates the cold air.
  • Oil-fired furnaces need to be serviced annually as well.  Since oil does not burn as clean as gas, the flue needs to be inspected every year.  Depending on the age of the unit and how clean it burns, the flue may have to be cleaned annually as well.
  • Boilers need to be serviced annually whether they are hot-water systems or steam. 
  • Heat pumps and electric furnaces also need to have annual inspection to prevent untimely breakdowns.
  • Outside air conditioning units and swamp coolers should be covered
Now is also a good time to:
  • Check your smoke detectors and change the batteries
  • Check your C.O. detector (if you do not have one – it is a small investment for your safety)
  • Plan an escape plan with your family in case of fire (and have a practice drill)
  • Talk to your children about fire prevention
  • Check that garage for flammable items – making sure they are stored properly
  • Check your fire extinguisher (keep one in the kitchen – they are inexpensive)


  1. We've been preparing to have our home system inspected and I'm glad for your article on this. We've recently had our heating system fixed and some plumbing issues were also straightened out. Love your tips and I'm making sure to print it all out for guidance. With fingers crossed, I hope my home will be ready by then for the inspection that's due this month. For more information on this topic, see:


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