As we step into the month of October, which is widely known for all of its fall fun and Halloween festivities, we at Hilliard-Dublin Heating & Air want to draw your attention to it being National Fire Prevention Month. The importance of fire safety awareness cannot be overstated. In the United States, an alarming 358,500 house fires occur annually. What is even more astonishing is that experts affirm that a majority of these house fires could have been prevented through the adoption of straightforward practices and regular preventative measures.
While HVAC units are not inherently hazardous, neglecting their maintenance can potentially result in fire hazards. So, we encourage you to join us, your local heating and cooling professionals, in promoting awareness about HVAC-related safety.
Regular maintenance is so important for your HVAC system. Once a year, each unit should be serviced, preferably before the onset of each heating or cooling season. During these inspections, technicians ensure that all components are functioning correctly and will identify and rectify potential issues such as frayed wires, loose connections, or obstructed ventilation that are considered fire and safety hazards.
Filters and Ducts
Dirty air filters and obstructed ducts compromise the efficiency of your HVAC system. When a furnace is allowed to run with a heavily clogged air filter, the clogged air filter blocks off proper ventilation and can allow for the production of unusually high levels of carbon monoxide – which is hazardous for your safety and is also proven to be a fire hazard. You should replace air filters as recommended by the manufacturer, typically every one to three months. Additionally, periodically clean your ducts, preferably every 3-5 years, to prevent the accumulation of dust and debris within the ductwork.
Faulty electrical components are a genuine fire risk. Therefore, remain vigilant for warning signs such as flickering lights, tripped circuit breakers, or the scent of burnt materials emanating from your HVAC unit. If you detect any of these issues, you should promptly seek the assistance of a qualified professional for assessment.
Flammables & Clutter
Refrain from storing flammable materials or chemicals near your furnace, as these substances can easily ignite in the event of a malfunction or overheating. It is advisable to maintain a clear space around your HVAC equipment to minimize the risk of fire spreading. Items that should always be kept at a distance from an HVAC unit include but are not restricted to, paint cans, cleaning solutions, other chemicals, and flammable items such as cardboard, paper, or fabric.
Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Detectors
The importance of having smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors is widely recognized. It is essential, however, to position these detectors on every level of your home and strategically within main living areas and outside sleeping quarters. Test your detectors on a monthly basis to confirm their functionality and replace their batteries annually. Most detectors have a 10-year lifespan, which can be verified by checking the manufacturer’s date on the device; replace them once they reach this 10-year threshold.
Fire Escape Plan
In the unfortunate event of a fire, having a well-rehearsed fire escape plan is imperative. Every member of your household, including children, should be familiar with the quickest exit routes and the designated safe meeting point outside your home.
By adhering to these HVAC fire safety guidelines, you can substantially reduce the risk of fires, safeguard your home and loved ones, and enjoy peace of mind. Keep in mind that regular maintenance and vigilance are pivotal. We also encourage you to reach out to us to explore our Whole Home Protection Plan, designed to help keep your home and HVAC system in optimal condition. Rest assured, we are committed to standing by your side, safeguarding both your home and HVAC system.
Call Hilliard-Dublin Heating & Air today at (614) 490-7520, or schedule an appointment online now by clicking here!