Amidst recurring incidents of fire caused due to faulty heaters, there is an urgent need to educate homeowners and the general public about water heater fire safety tips. Seemingly unusual kind of fire hazard, a water heater fire can potentially cause catastrophic losses, case in point, the Rocky Fire incident of Lake County, Northern California which burnt nearly 70,000 acres over two weeks and destroyed around 43 homes, causing numerous emergency evacuations. In this particular incident, although the source of the fire was the flammable liquids, which were surrounding the water heater structure, spreading of the fire was attributed mainly to lack of knowledge pertaining to proper fire safety practices, by investigators. Though catastrophic, this incident is a perfect example of how knowing water heater fire safety can potentially save so many lives and property damages.

Research has revealed that water heaters were responsible for 11% of fires started due to home heating devices. Although not inherently dangerous, water heaters still are an electronic device. Improper use and neglect can lead to several problems in future. If you have a water heater installed in your home, it is good to know a few safety practices that come in handy to prevent fire incidents.

Annual Maintenance

One of the biggest issues with any device in our homes is that we only think about getting it checked when it is malfunctioning or completely broken down. With water heaters, there is no exception. Most of us do not pay attention to cleaning or maintaining water heating tanks until we have to. Having annual maintenance scheduled on your water heater can potentially help you to save a lot in terms of keeping replacement and substantial repair costs at bay. When a technician is regularly called to check your water heating device, they are likely to spot and detect minor problems at the outset, avoiding more significant issues.

Surrounding materials

Research has indicated that 70% of fire incidents are caused because electronic devices are surrounded by flammable materials. Make sure that your devices are not surrounded by flammable liquids or firecrackers, mainly any substances that are likely to catch fire. It is best to keep the space completely vacant if possible.

Knowing on/off mechanism

It is essential to know how to switch on or off your water heater especially when it comes to preventing fire and spread of fire. If you ever smell gas or leak in your water heater, it is best to turn it off until a technician gets a look at it.

Adequate ventilation

Having adequate ventilation is immensely crucial to your water heating device. This helps the pilot assembly to burn correctly. In constricted spaces, or if your device is surrounded by debris or any other stored material, it can cause the heater to malfunction and can be a fire hazard. Adequate ventilation and free space around the device ensures that there is no danger of the fumes combusting and causing a fire.

In general, being aware of water heater fire safety tips is a must for information and awareness purposes. Potential fire hazards can be easily avoided by applying common sense and undertaking preventative measures. For a quick assessment of your water heater device or to ensure adequate fire safety, why not speak to our crew at Mangell Plumbing & Heating. Our technicians will come and inspect your water heater to give your guidelines and recommendations for safer usage.