Environmental Issue & Sick Building Syndrome Blog

NFPA Says Failure to Have Proper Furnace Maintenace Leading Cause of Fires

November 30th, 2013 10:32 PM by Dan Howard

According to the NFPA (National Fire Protection Association), heating equipment is the second leading cause of home fire fatalities after smoking. It is also the major cause of carbon monoxide in the home. There are some simple safety precautions you should take.


The suggestion that you know about is to have your furnace serviced each year. The operation and venting of furnaces needs checked. Complex new furnaces can be put out of commission by failure of a simple part. Maintenance can avoid that ice cube for a house feeling.  As a bonus, you may save fuel costs with a properly adjusted furnace.


There is common serious problem that you have not heard about and is often ignored by heating professionals.  You want to hire a furnace technician who will look at ALL of the gas appliances in the home. High efficiency furnaces can cause an intermittent problem of a furnace pulling carbon monoxide back into a home from other gas appliances such as gas clothes dryers, hot water tanks and fireplaces. If you occasional smell  the odor of natural gas or headaches, the cause could be an furnace drawing combustion products back into your home from these other appliances.  Return air ducts too close to these appliances can also cause the same problems      

  • If you smell gas, turn off gas at the exterior meter and have the cause immediately corrected.


  • If pilot lights go out, you smell gas around the hot water tank, fireplaces exhaust smoke back into the home, or you smell gas when the clothes dryer is working, the probable cause is the furnace vent. This needs addressed ASAP.

  • Place space heaters in protected areas surrounded by noncombustible surfaces away from pets and children.

  • Do not fill portable heaters with liquid fuels indoors

  • Do not use extension cords with space heaters.

  • Turn portable heaters off when leaving a room or going to bed.


Posted in:General
Posted by Dan Howard on November 30th, 2013 10:32 PM



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