In October 1871, the great Chicago Fire raged out of control and destroyed much of the young city. Three hundred lives were lost and over one hundred thousand people were left homeless. In acknowledgement of this tragedy, Fire Awareness Month occurs every October across North America. During this important time of year, people are encouraged to learn more about how fires start and how they can better prevent fire in their own homes and lives.
One place that many Canadians may overlook as a potential fire risk is the furnace. Calgarians take our harsh winters — and by extension our furnaces — for granted as just a part of life in Alberta. However, furnaces get old, and old gas furnaces, in particular, can quickly become a substantial fire risk.
Most Calgarians know that if they want the warranty on their new furnace to be honoured, they need to invest in annual inspections and maintenance for their furnace. However, this yearly tune up is even more important for old, gas furnaces. It’s not unusual for parts to wear out and become faulty over the decades. Safety standards are also constantly being re-evaluated. It’s not uncommon for an old furnace to simply not meet today’s acceptable standards. The friendly team at Plumbing Paramedics can tell you whether you should be concerned.
Why Do Furnaces Cause Fires?
As an old gas furnace wears out and parts begin to fail, too much natural gas begins to leak into the air. Once in a high enough concentration, any source of heat or fire can ignite the gas leading to an explosion and widespread fire.
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning.
Even if the gas leak isn’t ignited, breathing gas can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning. CO poisoning is the most common cause of accidental poisoning, and it kills at least 50 Canadians every year.
Inspections, Maintenance, & Detectors.
As a part of Fire Awareness Month, we encourage all Calgarians to check their smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Make sure all of your detectors are working optimally and placed in the most effective locations. Beyond that, if it’s been too long since your furnace was last inspected by a professional, give our team a call. Our furnace experts will inspect your furnace for any wear and tear and provide any necessary maintenance to ensure your home and family stay safe.
Fire safety is every Canadian’s job. Be sure to remind your loved ones to do their part to reduce the risk of fire in their home. And, from all of us at Plumbing Paramedics, we wish you a safe and warm winter.
Does your furnace need an inspection or tune up? Contact our team today at 403-452-2911!