Dangers Can Arise from Winter Heat Sources
When you are cold, the heat just feels so good. Thawing out frozen fingers and warming up a cold body can make you feel like a new person. Yet as good as heat feels, winter heat sources can pose a significant danger. Common sources of heat in the cold months include an electric or gas furnace, an electric space heater, a kerosene heater, a wood-stove, a fireplace, or a combination of these. Each of these are generally safe (some more than others), but you should remember that misuse or malfunction can quickly turn disastrous. Here are some dangerous situations that can quickly turn a toasty evening into a heat-triggered nightmare.
Sources of heat need space. Flammable materials that are too close to heat sources, especially ones that have an open flame, can catch fire and instantly create a dangerous situation. Be sure to keep anything that could catch fire away from fireplaces, wood stoves, or kerosene heaters.
Pets and Children
Pets and children are both unpredictable. That can be a problem when they are around portable heat sources. If a heat source is knocked over, it can easily start a fire in a short period of time. To avoid this, make sense that portable heat sources are kept out of the reach of kids and pets at all times.
Overheat or Overload
Heating that crosses the line to overheating is never good. Some heating units can get overheated, creating the potential for a fire. Likewise, overloading of electrical components can spark an electrical fire. Both of these issues show why unconventional heating sources should be used sparingly and not as the primary source of heat.
Old or Broken Units
With age all things deteriorate. This is no different with furnaces and other heat sources. It is wise to do a check of all heating sources at least once annually. The furnace should be inspected by professionals before starting up for the first time of the season. Failure to do so can cause you to miss a carbon monoxide leak in addition to an increased risk for fire.
Dirty or Clogged Chimney
Fireplaces need regular maintenance. It is important to have chimneys inspected and cleaned to avoid residue from building up or even foreign objects becoming lodged in it. Any debris in a chimney (or the fireplace itself) can cause a problem, such as a fire in the chimney or smoke and fumes being trapped from exiting out the chimney.
Often we think of fires as the biggest threat with winter heat sources. The truth is that fumes can be just as dangerous or even more so. Carbon monoxide, which can escape a cracked furnace, can be deadly and is often hard to detect since it is odorless. In addition, kerosene heaters should be properly vented to avoid accumulation of fumes and even fireplaces and wood-stoves can produce dangerous amounts of smoke and other fumes in areas without proper ventilation.
Providing Fire Restoration Services
Stay warm this winter, but make sure you do it safely! Fires can cause personal harm as well as property damage in a short period of time. If you do experience a fire, Moore Restoration can provide comprehensive fire restoration services, including contents restoration, smoke damage restoration, and reconstruction services. Call Moore Restoration at (866) 484-3322 for all your restoration needs.