Furnace and boiler safety tips

To prevent dangerous safety problems, people should make sure their furnaces and boilers are regularly inspected and maintained.

Many people in Washington, D.C., use furnaces and boilers to heat their homes. These devices require regular maintenance to make sure they are doing the job of providing heat, and also as a precaution against safety risks. If there is an unseen problem with a furnace, it could lead to a fire or an explosion, and in the worst case could result in injury or death.

Tips for maintenance

A good way to ensure that a boiler is as accident-proof as possible is to perform regular maintenance. The following list contains some specific things to check for:

· If using a steam boiler, a good way to prevent sediment from clogging the low-water cutoff control is by regularly draining the float chamber.

· With forced air systems, it is important to check carbon monoxide levels often.

· When performing maintenance, people should check to make sure there are no cracks in the combustion chamber.

· A combustion-efficiency test should be performed before a system is retrofitted or replaced with a new one.

· If a heat exchanger is damaged, flammable gases can leak out and mix with the air throughout the building. Any issues with a heat exchanger's physical integrity should be addressed immediately.

· Over an extended period, a ventilation system can deteriorate, and each part should be inspected to make sure the whole system is in good condition.

A professional who is qualified and experienced at performing regular maintenance of any furnace or boiler system will be best equipped to do the above maintenance checks.

Who should work on the machinery

Whether it is a furnace or boiler in an office or other commercial building, or a home heating system, if the person performing the check-up is not well trained and highly qualified, they could accidentally overlook something that ends up leading to a dangerous accident. People should be wary of independent contractors who claim to have expertise. There are some especially touchy procedures, such as replacement of burner management systems, changing out firing rate control valves and tuning burners, that pose a major safety risk if they are performed by someone who is not highly experienced. A good sign that someone knows what they are doing is if they bring the specialized tools for the job. The best kind of person to inspect a furnace is someone who regularly does that kind of work all the time.

Those in the Washington, D.C., area who have been injured as a result of an accident involving a faulty furnace or boiler may be able to receive financial compensation for medical costs and for the pain and suffering they have endured. They may find it helpful to get advice from attorneys in the area who practice personal injury law.