The Atlanta Fire Department said they consider the cold weather and freezing temperatures to be the start of the fire season as people begin turning up their heating units to keep warm. Atlanta Fire Department Captain Dave Ware said faulty furnaces, heating units and fireplaces can catch fire, especially when they have not been used since the last winter.
The Rosewell Fire Department was called out to a local home earlier this week because the house was consumed by smoke. The culprit; dust that had collected on the furnace. The homeowner told the fire department she had switched on the furnace to warm up her home and only minutes later, smoke had filled the home.
Firefighters ripped out the insulation and sheet rock in the attic just in case flames were hiding in the walls. Fortunately, no one was harmed. Not many people are aware, but heating your home can be incredibly dangerous if the proper precautions are not taken – especially when it comes to furnace safety. Most people don’t usually associate house fires with the winter, but because they are often cranking their furnaces during this time of the year, accidents happen and fires can break out very easily.
During summer months it’s normal for furnaces to collect dust. The first time you turn your furnace on this dust will burn causing a distinct smell. Don’t worry – this is normal. The dust burns quickly and the smell should dissipate in a short amount of time. If strange smells continue to occur shut off the heater and consult a professional. You should always be able to reach the shut off valve for your furnace.
Unfortunately, too many people are injured in their own homes or someone else’s home. Regular maintenance and paying special attention when you turn on your heating system for the first time of the winter season can be crucial.
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