How To Prevent Accidental Heating Fires

image of a house fire depicting heating safety tips

As the temperatures drop, we turn to our heating systems to offer warmth and comfort during the chilly seasons. While they function well, accidents can happen to heating equipment. Heating equipment ranks among the leading causes of residential fires. Many of these accidents can be prevented through vigilant care of your furnace, boiler, fireplace, space heater, water heater, kitchen stoves, and other heating systems. Safeguard your home from becoming a statistic by reading the heating safety tips below. 

Explore Our Home Heating Services Call To Schedule A Free, In-Home Consultation

How To Prevent Accidental Heating Fires

Here are some essential safety tips for homeowners to keep in mind when heating their homes. 

Related Article: Wi-Fi Thermostats for Oil Heat

Furnace Inspection

image of an hvac contractor repairing an overheating furnace

The furnace is crucial for maintaining a comfortable indoor temperature during the winter months. It operates by using natural gas, propane, or heating oil to generate heat. The heat is distributed throughout the home through a network of ducts. Given the complexity of such a system, we advise that you schedule professional maintenance at least once a year.

Professional technicians can perform a comprehensive check of every component within the furnace unit and along the ductwork. They are equipped to thoroughly clean the system, reducing the risk of clogs. They are also trained to identify and remove any flammable materials in close proximity to the furnace. Safety is paramount. Heating equipment often relies on combustible fuels and electrical power, which can pose fire hazards. Homeowners can contribute to safety by replacing the air filter on a monthly basis or whenever it becomes visibly dirty.

If you live in Northeastern Massachusetts, Southern Maine, or Southern New Hampshire, reach out to Townsend Energy for top-notch heating services. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

Call Today: (800) 888-2888

Chimney Cleaning

image of a chimney sweep depicting heating safety

Fireplaces and chimneys can be charming additions to a home, offering warmth and ambiance. However, they need regular maintenance to remain in good condition. Chimneys tend to accumulate soot and other forms of dirt rather quickly. Even if you only use your fireplace occasionally, it is still wise to enlist the services of a professional chimney cleaner. There are products available that can help prolong the cleanliness of the chimney. By doing so, you ensure that smoke has a clear pathway to escape upward, preventing the accumulation of heat inside your home. 

Related Article: What Boiler Size Do I Need?

Damage Assessment

Chimneys should maintain an airtight seal along their sides. Unfortunately, cracks can emerge over time due to factors like poor craftsmanship, water infiltration, material wear, and other reasons. When this happens, it can allow air to flow beneath the flames in unpredictable directions.  In some cases, this air movement can carry the fire toward the living room rather than keeping it contained within the fireplace. This can turn flammable materials such as carpets, blankets, pillows, and decorations into fuel for the fire. If you have an older chimney, have it inspected for potential structural damage immediately for your peace of mind. 

Learn More About Our Home Heating Services Call To Schedule A Free Consultation

Screen Barrier

Keep all flammable materials away from the fireplace at all times. Another safety precaution to consider is the use of a diffusion screen. This can act as a protective barrier between the fireplace and the rest of the room. This allows you to enjoy the sight of the flames from your preferred viewing angle while also capturing any stray sparks or logs. With the screen in place, you can confidently use the fireplace whenever you wish, knowing that any fire risks are minimized.

Related Article: 7 Must-Have Accessories To Improve HVAC Performance

Laundry Room Clearing

While we typically associate laundry with water rather than fire, the laundry room can pose a fire hazard. The dryer is connected to a duct that carries warm air. This part of the system can accumulate lint over time. In certain conditions, there may be enough lint to ignite and create a spark. Although dryers have mechanisms to capture lint, they are not always effective. As a safety precaution, include regular cleaning of this duct in your maintenance routine. 

Call To Schedule An Appointment

Space Heaters & Safety Features

image of a space heater depicting home heating tips

If you are in the process of buying new space heaters, inspect the safety features. Make sure you select units equipped with emergency shut-off mechanisms in case of accidents. These heaters should automatically power down if accidentally knocked over by pets or children to prevent direct contact with carpets and the development of a fire. Circuit overloads in space heaters often result in winter fires.

Room occupants should also exercise caution by using heaters only when they are present. Do not forget to turn them off or extinguish the fire before they leave their homes. Place heaters on flat, non-flammable surfaces with no nearby combustible materials. Switch from carpet to tile or concrete flooring. Position the heaters away from windows, beds, and shelves. Maintain a minimum distance of 3 feet from anything when the space heater is in operation. Always remember to turn it off when leaving the room. 

Call To Make An Appointment

Related Article: 5 Things To Check On The HVAC System When Buying A New Home

Water Heater Replacement

Water heaters prevent pipes from freezing during cold months. They also provide comfortable water temperatures. However, they are not immune to wear and tear like any other equipment. Heating elements can fail, mineral buildup can occur, and thermostats can develop faulty readings. If a water heater is not functioning properly, it can pose a fire risk when operating under strain. Replace older models or enlist the services of a professional for necessary repairs to ensure safety.

Click Here To Call & Make An Appointment Read Our Reviews

Shift to Central Heating

Space heaters have a higher risk of coming into contact with objects in a room, which is one of the reasons they can cause numerous home fires. If you have transitioned to central heating, you will primarily need to focus on fireproofing one room to minimize the risk of a fire spreading. While this may involve some upfront costs, it is a valuable investment to safeguard the rest of your home.

Related Article: Why Is HVAC Airflow So Important For My Home?


Fires pose significant risks to homes. It is crucial to take every possible precaution to prevent them by managing controllable factors. When needed, consult experts to get the best outcomes and safety measures.

Click Here To Learn About Our Heating System Services Call To Schedule An HVAC Appointment

Related Article: What Makes A Furnace Overheat?

Call Townsend Energy For All Of Your HVAC Requirements

te logo

Townsend Energy is your top choice for heating and cooling services in Northeastern Massachusetts, Southern Maine, or Southern New Hampshire. Our professional HVAC team comprises highly skilled and certified technicians who excel in HVAC tune-ups, installations, repairs, and replacements. They have the expertise needed to service your HVAC system efficiently.

What sets Townsend Energy apart is our commitment to providing the most competitive pricing for heating and cooling services in the region. Our maintenance and tune-up services are designed to enhance your home’s comfort, boost energy efficiency, and lower cooling expenses. If you need HVAC repairs or a replacement system, our experts can offer recommendations that align with your budget and needs. We stand behind all our professional HVAC work with a satisfaction guarantee for your peace of mind. Contact Townsend Energy today to schedule a service appointment. Don’t forget to inquire about our free, in-home estimates. 

Call Now: (800) 888-2888 Explore Our Library Of Case Studies

Contact us now at (800) 722-4101 to find out more! Click the link to view our service area.