The potential fire hazards that may by created where furnaces suffer from a mechanical issue or appliances are installed or used improperly is not a matter that should be taken lightly. Furnaces operate by combusting fuel, typically gas or heating oil, in order to produce heat. Under ordinarily circumstances, a furnace is able to regulate and control the combustion process but there are a number of ways that mechanical issues may increase the risk of a fire. A faulty furnace or aging heater is a concern that no household or property owners can afford to ignore.
Furnaces require sufficient ventilation in order to function properly. These appliances will typically be installed with plenty of clearance space between floors, walls and other objects but occasionally home renovations, the position of new furnishings and other objects that may impede the flow of air around a furnace may create a very serious fire hazard. Air that becomes trapped next to a furnace can be heated to temperatures that are high enough to ignite nearby objects or even the construction materials used in floors and walls. Care should always be taken to ensure furnaces are provided with plenty of space for ventilation and contestable materials, such as cloth or paper should always be kept at a safe distance.
Leaky Gas Lines
Gas-powered heaters typically burn a substance known as methane which has no taste, color or odor. Gas lines, connective valves and other components that have become damaged or worn to the point where gas is able to escape into the surrounding room or space can quickly create the conditions needed for a fire to start. A gas leak should be treated as a true emergency, and households that notice signs of visible damage to furnace equipment or a hissing sound which may be caused by escaping gas should vacate the area and alert the authorities without delay. Even the smallest gas leak can pose a very serious safety hazard due to its highly flammable nature.
The failure of even non-critical furnace parts and components can start a house fire. Furnace components that are heated beyond safe temperatures due to the failure of an internal part may pose a fire risk that is all but impossible to detect without a formal furnace inspection or equipment assessment. Other dangers, such as carbon monoxide poisoning, may be very difficult to detect without the right equipment and furnace owners would be wise to take steps in order to ensure that their unit is kept in good working order. Regular maintenance, basic upkeep and periodic inspections can all play an important role in ensuring that furnaces are less likely to create a fire within the home.
There are numerous concerns associated with older-model equipment that should give homeowners additional cause for concern. Older furnaces are more likely to suffer from wear and may experience mechanical issues more frequently or suffer part failures that may be more severe in nature. Furnaces that were built prior to the implementation or more stringent and modern building codes may pose a risk that households would do well to address. Arranging to have older appliances inspected, replaced or upgraded is an effective way to ensure that homes and their occupants can be kept safe and secure
Charlie Teschner started MESA Heating in 1982. Charlie has a journeyman and master plumber’s license. He was raised with a strong work ethic and he now applies those values to tasks such as Longmont, CO heating repair.
December 20, 2016