This week, schools and businesses throughout Harford County are practicing fire drills in observance of Fire Prevention Week, an important week during Fire Safety Month. Since 1922 when the National Fire Protection Association named the second week of October Fire Prevention Week in commemoration of the Great Chicago Fire in 1871, we’ve celebrated by raising fire safety awareness and educating communities across the country.
Now is a great time to discuss with your family how to prevent fires and what to do if a fire breaks out in your home. In a typical home fire, there may be only one to two minutes to escape safely from the time the smoke alarm sounds. Escape planning and practice can help keep everyone calm and give everyone enough time to get out safely.
Plan ahead for your escape. Make your home escape plan and practice before you’re in a scary situation.
HVAC Issues That Can Cause Fires
We can’t stress enough that regular HVAC maintenance can prevent dangerous fires as well as carbon monoxide poisoning. If you haven’t made your fall appointment, call us to have a technician come and check out your system.
As electrical connections age, they can become loose. This leads to power exertion from the furnace, causing burnt wires that can cause a fire. If you smell smoke or something burning, call your One Hour HVAC right away.
Gas Pressure and Connections
Low gas pressure can result in condensation in the heat exchanger, whereas high gas pressure can result in a hot heat exchanger. This can cause subsequent damage and yes, a fire. Any poorly fitting gas connections can result in gas leaks, so we always check your gas pressure and connections during routine maintenance.
Boxes, cleaning supplies, or any other materials (especially flammable) near your furnace should be moved to prevent fires. There should always be three feet of space all the way around your HVAC unit to avoid a stray spark from starting a fire
Leaking Fuel Lines
Without proper maintenance and inspection, many homeowners don’t notice a leaking fuel line until it is too late. A fuel line leak means that highly flammable fuel is coming into contact with the hot elements of your HVAC unit. Heat plus fuel means fire, so if you smell oil or gas near your furnace, call us to send an HVAC technician over right away.
Cracked Heat Exchanger
A cracked heat exchanger can cause a carbon monoxide leak, which is scary enough, but also flammable. We always check your heat exchanger for cracks during furnace maintenance visits – one more reason to call us before the cold season begins.
More Fire Safety Reminders
Besides telling you about HVAC fire hazards, we want to remind you and your family to:
- Check batteries in smoke detectors to make sure they’re working. There should be a smoke alarm in each room.
- Never leave a space heater on when no one is home, and always keep them away from anything flammable.
- Hire a chimney sweep to inspect your chimney and fireplace, and make sure the flue is open before you light a fire.
- Keep lighters and matches high up so young children can’t reach them and start a fire.
- Keep lighted candles out of reach of kids, and always blow them out before you leave home.
If you haven’t schedules a fall furnace maintenance visit with One Hour Heating and Air, call now! And if you notice any burning smells coming from your furnace, call us! Your safety is always our number one priority.