An improperly maintained furnace can cause fires and produce deadly quantities of carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas that can gradually overcome a person. Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning can resemble the flu and include headaches, dizziness and nausea. The Plymouth Township Fire Department recommends that residents consider the following home heating safety tips.
Be sure that your furnace is clean and the motor is properly lubricated. Filters should be changed at least monthly.
Gas furnaces should be serviced at least every two years. Hot water and steam systems should be checked annually for corrosion, pressure and proper operation.
Fireplaces should be checked for loose mortar and cracks around the brick. The fireplace chimney should be cleaned at least annually. Be sure to keep fire doors or screen in place and dispose of ashes in fire proof containers. Wood burning stoves and their exhaust pipes should be checked for weakening, cracks or leaks.
Space heaters should be cleaned and checked for proper operation. They should be operated in well ventilated areas and placed out of the path of travel.
Keep children away from heat producing appliances and store combustibles away from stoves and fireplaces.
Always keep a fire extinguisher on hand and know how and when to use it.
For additional information, contact the Plymouth Township Fire Department at (734) 354-3221.