According to the Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management (OFMEM) 49% of fires with loss that occurred in Ontario between 2012 and 2016 were in residential occupancies. Loss fires are fires that resulted in dollar loss, injury or fatality. With numbers this high, it makes good sense to fireproof your home.
Here are some important tips to help fireproof your home.
Maintain Your Furnace
The OFMEM also reported heating and electrical equipment accounted for 8% of the fires between 2012 and 2016. Of those fires, 77% were home fires. You can reduce the risk of furnace fire causes with these tips:
- Ensure you are changing your furnace filters at least every one to three months to improve airflow and avoid overheating.
- Arrange for annual furnace maintenance to remove dirt that can collect in your furnace motor, replace faulty parts and bad wiring and lubricate dry motor bearings.
Our team can provide annual maintenance to help fireproof your furnace.
Keep Your Furnace Room Clean
Furnace fire causes also include a dirty or cluttered furnace area. Don’t forget to sweep or vacuum around your furnace to remove debris and dust. You should also keep the furnace room clear, with anything stored in the area at least three feet away from your heating equipment.
Your furnace area should never have anything combustible stored nearby including:
- Laundry detergent
- Cleaning products
- Paint thinners
- Combustible chemicals
In other words, if it has a flammable warning on the container, keep it away from your furnace. You should also keep a fire extinguisher in your furnace room just in case.
Be Careful with Space Heaters
Space heaters can come in handy if you have rooms in your home that tend to be colder. However, cold rooms can also be a sign that you need a new furnace or require furnace maintenance.
If you must use space heaters, be sure to follow these guidelines:
- Don’t use an extension cord
- Keep the area around the space heater clear of everything from blankets and clothes to paper and books
- Turn the heater off when you leave the room
These precautions will help reduce the risk of fire.
Clean Your Furnace Flue
Many homeowners understand the importance of regular chimney cleanings but ignore their furnace flue. However, soot can also buildup in your furnace flue, which can cause furnace flame rollouts. Rollouts occur when flames escape and roll out of a closed combustion area. If you don’t clean your furnace flue oxygen can be restricted due to things such as clogged air filters, bird’s nests or even by something leaning against your outside vent.
OFMEM reported 18% of home fires started in the kitchen. Never leave anything cooking on the stovetop unattended. Always keep a fire extinguisher in your kitchen. Don’t store cooking oil near your oven or stovetop and when deep-frying, keep a proper size lid handy so you can place it over an oil fire immediately. A smoke detector in the kitchen area is also a good idea, but not so close that it goes off every time you cook!
These tips will help protect your family from a house fire. If you would like more information on furnace maintenance, contact our team today