Prepare Now to Use Central Heating Systems Safely

Olympia –The State Fire Marshal’s Office recommends taking some time now to prepare for colder weather.  Here are a few tips to keep your heating system running safely and efficiently:

·         Furnaces should be inspected, cleaned, and serviced every year by a qualified, licensed professional to ensure safe and reliable operation.

·         Keep any flammable materials at least 3 feet away from the furnace to reduce the risk of ignition.

·         If the pilot light of your gas furnace goes out, allow 5 minutes or more for the gas to clear. Then, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for relighting the pilot.

·         If you smell gas in or around your gas furnace that does not dissipate, do not try to relight it.  Evacuate and call 9-1-1.

·         Keep exterior venting clear of snow, ice, and other debris to reduce the risk of carbon monoxide accumulation inside the home.

·         Install and maintain smoke alarms inside your home to alert you to fire danger.

·         Install and maintain carbon monoxide (CO) alarms inside your home to alert you in case of carbon monoxide accumulation.

·         Develop and practice a home escape plan.

For more information, contact the State Fire Marshal’s Office at (360) 596-3929.