Monday, October 18, 2010 - 4:37am
In the US, heating sources are one of the leading causes of residential fires, and with colder weather on the way, many Madison residents will be turning on heating systems that have not been used since Spring.
Most fires involving furnaces take place at night when people are asleep. As such the most important step in home heating safety is to make sure your smoke alarms are in working condition. Wisconsin state law requires a smoke alarm on each floor level, and one should also be installed in the area adjacent to your furnace.
The next most important step in home heating safety is to make sure that your furnace is operating properly and safely, and furnace flues, pipes, and chimneys should be inspected as well. Madison Gas and Electric, Alliant Energy, or a heating contractor should be contacted if you have questions or problems regarding the heating unit in your home. In homes with gas furnaces, carbon monoxide detectors are strongly recommended.
Finally, filters should be changed at the beginning of the heating season and then checked monthly to make sure there is adequate air flow.
Additional information on heating safety is available from The Dane County Clean Air Coalition.
The Coalition offers information on how to reduce fine particles and other emissions that pollute the air. By learning how to burn wisely, residents who use wood stoves or fireplaces for heat can reduce their emissions from wood burning to protect their homes, their health and the air we all breathe, while reducing heating costs and staying comfortable this winter. For more information visit www.healthyairdane.org
- Lori Wirth(608) 266-5947