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Home Heating Safety

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By the Utility Safety Partners Education & Awareness Committee

Your natural gas appliances are designed to operate safely but, like everything used on a daily basis, they do need proper care. Staying safe means being aware and taking the time to ensure that your appliances are operating properly. To keep your heating system working safely and efficiently, have it serviced regularly by a licensed technician or heating contractor. Pay particular attention to the following safety advice:

  • Do not hang clothes or any items from gas piping or vent pipes.
  • Keep area around appliances clear of debris and clutter.
  • Do not run gas appliances with doors or lids removed.
  • Do not store solvents, paint or any combustibles on or around your gas appliances.
  • Do not plug the fresh air or combustible air intakes ether inside or outside your residence.
  • Maintain 60 centimetres clearance in front of gas appliances.

Check your furnace filter once a month and, if it is dirty, change it or clean it according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Dirty filters reduce airflow and force your heating system to work harder. When checking filters, examine the furnace vent for corrosion or obstruction problems. A carbon monoxide detector can provide early warning of a dangerous heating system malfunction. If you have one in your home, make sure it is properly installed and maintained.

There are also some things that will help to ensure that your natural gas metre and gas lines are operating safely:

  • Make sure your metre is visible at all times. 
  • Don’t chain bikes or dogs to, or hang garden hoses over, your metre set. You may cause damage requiring costly repairs. 
  • Keep your metre clear of ice and snow but don't kick or hit the metre or its piping to break away built-up snow or ice. 
  • Do not enclose your metre in any way. 

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