For most residents of the United States, winter heating is essential. Whether you use a furnace, a boiler, a woodstove or a heat pump, families across the country need to create warmth in their homes in order to make it through the winter. Of course, indoor heating can be dangerous as well, if the heater malfunctions or is not well maintained. Keeping your family safe is of utmost importance, and one essential part of your heat and air conditioning system that can be frequently overlooked is the smoke detector. Read on to learn more about smoke detectors and why you need them in your home.

The Danger of Your Heat and Air Conditioning System

According to the United States Fire Administration, winter home fires cause 905 deaths and over $2 billion in damages every year. Fire can spread exponentially, and smoke can be even more deadly, preventing you from breathing while you try to make your escape. That’s why smoke detectors are so important for giving you an early warning when smoke starts to fill your home.

For optimum safety, you should have at least one smoke detector on every floor, as well as one inside and outside each bedroom so that sleeping family members can be alerted immediately in the event of an emergency. Practice evacuation procedures with your family so when the alarm does sound, everyone is ready to get out of the house as quickly as possible.

Save Your Life with Early Detection

Along with your smoke detector, don’t forget to install and maintain working carbon monoxide detectors, which can save your life in the event your heat and air conditioning system starts leaking toxic gases but doesn’t actually start a fire. For the full package of home protection, you can get a smart thermostat like the Nest Protect, which tells you where the smoke is coming from so you know right away if it’s from a burned piece of toast in the kitchen or a real emergency.

Of course, the best strategy when it comes to house fires is to prevent them from happening in the first place. Make sure you have your furnace thoroughly serviced and your chimney cleaned so they present minimal risk. It’s also important to keep flammable materials like curtains away from any heat sources and to exercise special care if you use space heaters to supplement your main heat source.

Expert Care for Your Heat and Air Conditioning

It’s not enough to just have smoke detectors installed – you should also test them every month to make sure they will work when you need them most.

For help setting up your smoke detectors, or for a thorough safety check of your heat and air conditioning system, contact an HVAC expert today.