Home Heating Safety

Tips
If your furnace burns oil or natural gas, you need to maintain it to avoid carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning or fire. The Coon Rapids Fire Department has tips to keep you safe:
  • Have your furnace cleaned and inspected annually.
  • Change the filter monthly.
  • Install and maintain smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. We can put out a fire, but it's much better for you to prevent it.
Home heating fires damaged or destroyed 428 homes in Minnesota last year. It is important to give your heating appliances the attention they deserve to have a safe and cozy heating season. Prevent tragedy this season and follow these helpful tips:
  • Never use a vented-type heater without proper venting an flue (chimney).
  • Follow manufacturer's recommendations for the proper size heater and for installation, maintenance and use. Have it professionally installed, if possible.
  • Have your heater installation checked by gas company before lighting it.
  • Never use a heater that is in disrepair. Always keep your heater in proper operating condition.
  • Turn off the heater if the burner flame looks strange, i.e., yellow flames, unsteady flames, or smoky flames.
  • Turn off the heater, ventilate the room and get into the fresh air if you get a headache, nausea, fuzzy vision - remember CO does not have a odor and you may become unconscious before you realize there is a problem.
  • Make sure the venting system is open - a blocked vent can cause your space heater to exhaust CO into your living space.
  • Never sleep in a room where a gas heater is burning.
  • Do not operate a gas heater in a completely tight room. The heater needs a source of fresh air to operate safely and efficiently. Slightly open a window, if needed.
  • Install and maintain smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.
  • Make a home escape plan and practice it.