Fire Up The Heater - Central County Fire & Rescue

Fire Up The Heater

In 2008 17% of all reported home fires were caused by home heating devices. With cooler temperatures on the way is your home heating system ready to go?

When you first turn on a gas or electric furnace that has not been used for months it will most likely have a build-up of dust and dirt on heating elements that can cause a burning smell and even a light haze of white smoke when it is turned on for the first time in a season. This is normal and should disappear shortly after turning on the furnace.
If the furnace is releasing a black smoke and starts to rumble leave your home immediately and call 9-1-1.

Before you get to this point, you should do an inspection of your furnace before turning it on.

  1. Replace or clean the filter. A new filter ensures the furnace is running at peak performance, and can save you money on your energy bills.
  2. Have your furnace checked by a professional. Over time furnaces can develop small cracks that are not visible to the naked eye. Deadly levels of carbon monoxide can leak through these cracks. 

  3. Make sure the burner area of the furnace is clean.
  4. Move any combustible material such as paint thinners, gasoline, etc. away from the furnace.
  5. Check to ensure your carbon monoxide detector is working properly.