4 Fire Safety Tips For Your Water Heater

When it comes to fire safety, many people bypass their water heaters. However, when not maintained and operated the correct way — a water heater can pose a serious fire risk. Learn how you can protect your home and family from a water heater related fire.

1. Schedule Inspections

Fire Safety 101 involves scheduling an inspection of your water heater. Water heater inspections have less to do with repairing the unit than they do with preventing an appliance. While the technician will address any maintenance concern issues, he or she will also highlight any issues that could be on the horizon, such as a faulty piece of equipment that could potentially lead to a gas leak. 

2. Perform Regular Housekeeping

The area around the water heater should remain clean at all times, which will require you to engage in regular housekeeping efforts. First, keep the area around the unit free of debris, such as excess dust and clutter. Dust and clutter prevent air from fully circulating around the heater, which is important as a lack of air can cause the water heater to perform incorrectly and increase its risk of catching on fire. 

3. Know When to Replace

Water heaters are not intended to last forever, and sometimes these appliances should be replaced even before they fail. If you have an older system and it still works, don't assume that it's also safe. Over the years, building installation codes have changed, and the setup of your unit might not be within the appropriate safety standards anymore. Have the unit inspected to identify any code violations that might warrant an upgrade.

4. Maintain Ventilation

Only operate the water heater in a well-ventilated space, especially if the unit is housed inside a garage or other storage area. In an enclosed space, the fumes from the heater don't have anywhere to circulate to. Instead, they buildup flammable pressure in the small space. In this type of environment, even the smallest flammable material can spark and cause a home fire. First, always keep flammable materials away. Second, also ensure the space is properly ventilated to ensure proper air circulation. 

Make a commitment to practice fire safety at all times. In the event your water heater displays an issue, you should contact a technician for an inspection. You do not want to ignore the issue. A service professional, such as from Denton Gas Co., Inc., will be more than happy to look over your unit and give you confidence that it's safe, and so is your family.