Friday, September 23, 2011 - 7:23am
The Madison Fire Department and Madison Gas and Electric urge homeowners to spend a little time getting ready for the upcoming heating season. Here are a few tips to help prevent a failure of your heating equipment, save energy, and prevent injuries and fires.
• Have furnaces, water heaters, chimneys and venting systems inspected each year by a qualified contractor.
• Check the furnace filter once a month during the heating season. Replace or clean any dirty filters.
• Furnaces using a programmable thermostat should have a spare battery available to ensure continued operation when the installed battery fails.
• Always follow the manufacturer's operating and safety instructions for any heating equipment in your home.
• Keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from heating equipment including furnaces, fireplaces, wood stoves or portable space heaters.
• Have a three-foot "kid-free zone" around open fires and space heaters.
• Remember to turn off portable heaters when leaving the room or going to bed.
• Always use the right kind of fuel, specified by the manufacturer, for fuel burning space heaters.
• Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room.
• Fireplace ashes should be cool before putting them in a metal container. Keep the container a safe distance away from your home.
• Never use your oven to heat your home.
• Test smoke alarms monthly.
• Install and maintain carbon monoxide (CO) alarms on each level of the home to avoid the risk of CO poisoning.
• If you smell gas, leave the home immediately and call the fire department.
- Eric Dahl, 608-261-9845