Heating Appliances and Home Safety
A Holistic Home Security and Safety Strategy
Home security is not simply about locking out the potential intruders. You create many of your own worst safety hazards right in your own home. Home heating systems and appliances may be one of your biggest risks.
Every year as winter approaches and temperatures dip there is an increase in home heating accidents and disasters. In many cases these accidents occur around heating appliances and sources that are being used improperly.
- Do you use a kerosene heater?
- Do you use an electric space heater?
- Do you have a gas furnace in your apartment?
- Do you use a fireplace or woodburning stove in your home?
- Do you use a wood-fired heating system?
- Is your home heating system old and in need of maintenance?
Safety Tips for Home Heating Appliances
If you answered “yes” to any of the above questions then you face potential heating system safety risks. Here are a few measures you can take to keep your family and home safer and more secure when the temperature drops:
- If you’re using kerosene heaters, dispose of old and rusted models and invest in a new heater. Always properly ventilate. Don’t leave unattended for any reason.
- Keep electric space heaters away from flammable items, allow plenty of clearance around the appliance. Buy a new one every few years, preferably a model with a built-in shut-off and thermostat.
- Keep gas and oil burning furnaces maintained by professionals annually. Do not store hazardous materials in the vicinity.
- Keep the front of fireplaces and woodburning stoves clutter-free. Use screens and doors on fireplaces to control sparks and have a professional chimney sweep clean your chimneys annually.
- Keep wood-fired furnaces free and clear of clutter. These units get to be VERY hot.
- If your heating system is older and in need of maintenance call a technician to service it and clean it.
Hazard Security Devices for Home Security Systems
A few simple and inexpensive devices are designed to help safeguard you and your family in the event of heating system safety problems:
- Install smoke alarms and detectors throughout your home and make sure existing detectors have working batteries.
- Install carbon monoxide detectors. If you’re buying an electric model buy one with a battery backup.
If you have a whole home security system find out if there are smoke and carbon monoxide monitors and detectors already being monitored or if you can add them as part of your centrally monitored system.