Farmington Hill, MI, (October 2011)– October is National Fire Safety Month and heading into winter means an increase in residential fires according to the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA). The USFA cites home space heating as the second leading cause of residential fires during the winter season. According to a 2009 USFA report, 50,200 fires, 160 deaths, 550 injuries and $301,300,000 in damage were the result of residential heating fires.
Proper maintenance of heating systems can help reduce the safety and fire hazards.
Dave Knight, of Thornton & Grooms states, “When it comes to your heating system, we can’t stress enough the importance of regular maintenance. To operate safely, heating systems need to be annually inspected including being cleaned and tuned-up by a professional.”
Knight goes on to say, “During an annual check-up the safety switches on your furnace are tested and the combustion is checked. Also, if your furnace has a pilot light, it’s extremely important to make sure there aren’t any leaks in the heat exchanger. Leaks in the heat exchanger can allow combustion products like carbon monoxide into your home, creating a serious safety concern.”
“Carbon Monoxide poisoning is known as the ‘silent killer,’ because you cannot see it, smell it or taste it, but it claims nearly 300 lives each year,” according to the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC).
Knight states, “If you have an electric heating system, like a heat pump, it needs to be checked annually as well. Running electric heat puts an enormous load on your electrical circuits. The heating up and cooling down of the wires can lead to expansion and can loosen connections. A loose connection can lead to higher amperage and can burn wires. During a tune-up, all of the connections are checked to make sure they are tight. Also, safety switches and relay points are checked to ensure the system is operating properly.”
“Smoke detector preventive maintenance is another way to keep your family safe. If you haven’t done so already this year, change the batteries in all of your homes’ smoke detectors,” says Knight. According to the CPSC smoke detectors should be tested every month and batteries changed once a year.
“The investment in regular heating system maintenance is well worth the money. Even if there is nothing wrong with your system, you can sleep better at night with the peace of mind of knowing everything is in good shape,” says Knight.
For more information visit Thornton & Grooms at www.thorntonandgrooms.com.
For more information on National Fire Safety Month go to www.nfpa.org.
Thornton & Grooms
Thornton and Grooms has been serving homeowners for almost 75 years with experience and a local reputation for superior technical skills in heating, air conditioning, plumbing, and indoor air quality systems. With products ranging from furnaces and heat pumps to air purifiers and thermostats, they can equip your home for any season while saving you money.