Temporary heat is very crucial in many residential and commercial buildings. When the cold is too much to bear, many residents and office employees find it very hard to function as normally and productively as possible. This causes problems in work output as well as in home productivity. Many tasks and duties are paralyzed and put on hold. The value of temporary heat can therefore never be underestimated.
Many homes and offices are equipped with temporary heating mechanisms, both simple and sophisticated. The installation of these devices allows people to perform and operate in a more comfortable environment even during the peak of the winter season. It helps in alleviating the negative consequences of the physical limitations of people in the midst of cold climate.
But just as important and as beneficial temporary heating is in many communities, it can also cause severe injuries and hazardous environments in many households. Temporary heating machines can cause explosions in homes, fires and burns, poisoning through the uncontrolled spread of carbon monoxide and the creation of environments that are oxygen-deficient. It is therefore very important to follow the basic safety precautions that go with the use and installation of these heating devices.
1. To determine the proper use of your heating devices, it is important to first know what kind of device you have at your home or office. Heating equipment can be powered by either natural gas, solid fuel from coal, wood or coke, liquefied petroleum gas and liquid fuel such as fuel oil, kerosene, coal oil and other diesel oils. Among these power sources, solid fuel is considered the most hazardous. This is the reason why it cannot be utilized in the confines of the building and even within 25 feet of any house or office structure. You should therefore avoid if not totally eliminate the use of this power source if you want to keep your family or community safe from disastrous explosions.
2. When purchasing a heating device, always study the safety instruction manual that normally goes with the product. Many helpful warnings and tips can be found in the packaging of heating devices. Do not even attempt to operate a product before you have carefully studied the instructions on how to use and maintain it. Even if you have received initial installation assistance from the experts, you will still have to refer to the product guidelines because you might have missed something very important. Remember that you may be using the equipment under certain circumstances unknown to the person who assisted you. It is possible that you may not have gotten the advice most suitable to your home setup. This is why you have to do a little study and evaluation on your own.
3. To avoid creating an oxygen deficient environment especially in your home, you have to make sure that the interior of your house always has good ventilation. Having an adequate supply of fresh air will diminish the chances of ever creating this unpleasant atmosphere. The use of temporary heating equipment in cramped and confined spaces is almost always discouraged. Structures with very small areas often suffer from bad ventilation and poor temperature control, thus increasing for oxygen deficiency.
4. Ensure that your heating devices are constantly being supervised. Never leave them on when no one will be left in the house or other building. If all the people are going to leave, it will be best to just shut down the unit. If you leave your heating device unattended, it might explode or malfunction and have disastrous consequences. You will also have to turn the gas source off if you are not going to use your heating equipment. Otherwise, you may find yourself going home to a house reduced to ashes when the unsupervised unit explodes or malfunctions.
5. If you are using LPG as your power source, it is not advisable to keep spare LPG inside your home. It will not be wise to have all your spare tanks lined up in your room. Keep only the one you are currently using and leave the others at a safe distance. This will help avoid the feared incidents of LP tanks exploding inside the house.
6. In relation to this, you should always follow the proper relocation of your LPG containers inside the house. Keep in mind that your heating unit should be put at least six feet away from the LPG tank. You can only take the risk of putting it closer than six feet if the heating machine has been approved as an integrated unit. If you have to store LPG cylinders in a separate garage or room within your neighborhood, you have to make sure that you never put more than three of those tanks together. Keep your LPG cylinders in upright positions in order to avoid any unwanted damage.
7. If you need to refuel your heating machine, you have to let it cool down first. The heat caused by its continuous operation might trigger explosions or other damage. You have to give it a break period so that it will be able to rest from its operation. Anything less than a reasonable cooling time will prove to be dangerous and unsafe for your home.
8. It is important that you never use your LPG-powered heater below grade level. Most of the gas sources contain propane which is denser and heavier than air. This will easily settle in low leveled areas such as your basement. If this gas cannot find its way out of the low enclosure, there is a big possibility of fire being ignited. This can cause great loss and injury in your home or office.
9. Always choose a temporary heater that does not emit strong smells. When a unit gives out a strong, disturbing odor, this usually signifies that it is unhealthy and may cause respiratory problems in the long run. It may even choke children who are continuously and severely exposed to it. Gas fumes can lead to having nausea, headaches and other health problems. Also, some gases leave behind residues that eventually settle on and damage painted surfaces inside the building.
10. If you have your options, you should always choose to utilize temporary heating devices which are efficient but safe to use. These include heating boilers fired up by oil. This simple yet effective equipment works by having a blower fan out the heat created by a hot-water heating coil inside. While they may be as big and heavy as filing cabinets, these devices are safe and easy to use.
11. The disasters caused by heating mechanisms are not limited to the malfunctioning of the units. They may also be caused by the very air that is emitted from these machines. You must always take measures to protect hot air quality in your heater. Make sure that your burner and boiler is free from any foreign matters that may clog them. It is better if you install filters in your equipment so that you can avoid the clogging caused by sawdust and other substances.
12. Portable heaters are now increasingly becoming common in many households. There have been incidents wherein these heaters have been blamed for fires in homes and other buildings. Since these heaters are small and less sophisticated, their use entails greater care and caution on the part of homeowners. It is important to choose a portable heater that has an automatic shutdown feature in the event that it is tipped over. When a heater is tipped over and it continuous to operate, you can be sure that a fire will be triggered. This is something that you should avoid because given the nature of this type of equipment, this is not for from happening.
13. Where you install and set up your heater is also a crucial choice. It will be best to put them in a place far from curtains, rugs, blankets, papers, books and other furniture. Placing them near combustible items will only increase the chances of a fire occurring in case they malfunction. They should also be put farther from exit points and doorways as they may hinder the ingress and egress of family members in case of household disasters caused by these heaters. Other than fire, the possibility of electrocution is another hazard caused by using temporary heaters. You must therefore be careful not to position your temporary heating equipment near water sources such as showers, tubs and sinks.
14. Your temporary heaters must be regularly and properly maintained. A dusty and dirty heater is most likely to suffer overheating and eventually cause a fire. If possible, try vacuuming the surfaces of the heater to get rid of dust and lint. But before you do the cleaning, make sure that the heater is turned off and unplugged from your outlets.
15. Lastly, since you can never be a hundred percent free from the potential disasters a temporary heater may cause, it will be wise for you to have smoke detectors installed all over your house or office. These will alert you if there is a fire that is occurring in any part of your building. When you have this alarm, you will be able to keep yourself and your family safe when an impending disaster strikes.