There’s nothing more chilling than a home fire, especially while the occupants are home. Even more chilling is when the fire starts in the middle of the night and forces the family to flee their burning home with nothing more than the clothes on their back. Fire is an ugly beast that can destroy a house within minutes.
One dwelling owner was lucky, however, when a fire broke out in the attic of the home. The fire occurred when the South Jersey Gas Company and a representative for the owner were trying to start the heating unit. The Wildwood Fire Department was able to put the fire out with no injuries and minimal damage. Still, what damage the fire did do was estimated at $3,000.
This story shows us that we can get lucky with structural fires. The fire in Wildwood was relatively small, contained and firefighters were able to respond quickly enough to get the fire extinguished before it spread. Even more important: no one was hurt or killed in the fire.
Thousands of fires are caused by faulty HVAC systems every year
But this also should be a lesson that serious problems with HVAC systems can and do occur. Not only that, but also these problems can lead to disaster. According to the National Fire Protection Association, there were about 7,400 home structural fires in 2010, resulting in 29 deaths, 249 injuries and a whopping $207 million in property damage. Air conditioning and heating units, heat pumps and other HVAC equipment found in most homes caused these fires.
The report states that the cause of these fires is attributed to mechanical or electrical failures. No more specifics are given. The report concludes by recommending that HVAC equipment be properly installed and maintained with regular inspections.
Inspections and maintenance are key
It’s very easy to avoid having a HVAC professional come out to do regular inspections, especially when everything in your house is running fine. But it’s the little problems that you don’t see that can turn into disasters. Something as simple as a fraying wire or a loose valve can fester for a long time before you start noticing something is wrong.
During an inspection, the HVAC technician carefully examines your equipment and looks for signs of trouble. Wires are checked for to ensure they’re properly connected and not fraying. Pipes, tubing and gas lines are checked for rusting and leaks. Motors are cleaned out to prevent shorts in the electrical circuit. All these tasks the technician performs will protect you from what happened in Wildwood. When a problem is detected, no matter how small, it can be fixed for much less than dealing with a house fire.
If you’re worried about your house’s HVAC system, or it hasn’t been inspected in a while, then relax, we can help you. A quick call to our office and we can schedule a technician to come out and inspect your home. You’ll have ease of mind knowing that your home and your family are safe from HVAC-related fires.
Source: National Fire Protection Association