When The Furnace Kicks On, So Must Fire Safety

Posted on December 5, 2013

As the temperatures go on the decline at this time of the year, people around Southern California are going to be turning on their furnaces for the first time in what could have been months.  Unfortunately, a number of citizens will neglect to take the proper precautions with these devices, and they therefore set themselves up for either a fire or a dangerous buildup of carbon monoxide.

You don’t want that to happen to your family in the lead-up to the holidays or any other time of the year, and so you need to be careful at the outset.  Before you turn on your furnace for the season, or if you’ve already done so but simply forgot to take precautions while doing so, then think about enacting the safety tips on hand from the Southern California Gas Company.

Hopefully, in the time since you’ve had the furnace on, you haven’t turned the area nearby into an impromptu storage space for all those things you didn’t have room for.  If so, then your first order of business must be clearing the area anew.  If this area is clogged with all manner of tchotchkes, the lack of airflow could contribute to a buildup of carbon monoxide or something in the vicinity could be set alight.

Once you have the area cleaned, you should also go over it to clear out any dust or debris that may have accumulated.  This is an activity that should take place on a regular basis throughout the winter.

The beginning of winter is a great time to have a representative from the gas company come by to take a look at the unit.  If he or she gives you the all-clear, then you’ll still need to see to the furnace’s viability on a regular basis throughout the coming months.  That means paying particular attention to the filter on the unit.

If you determine that a replacement is necessary, then make sure you replace the filter with the utmost care.  The furnace may need to be turned off while you do this.  Take off the front door and then slide in the filter.  With that complete, take extra care to ensure that the door has been steadfastly affixed.  If it’s askew in the slightest, carbon monoxide could emanate and threaten your family.

You should also have some idea of how the flame is supposed to appear when it’s in working order.  It should be relatively small and flicker steadily.  When the flame starts to wobble and get bigger than is appropriate, that’s when your family could be in danger and when you need to get in touch with a gas company representative to fix the problem.

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