Simple ways to prevent home fire

Burner flame

Here are a few simple ways to prevent a fire from starting in your home.


Leaving pots and pans unattended is one of the main causes of kitchen fires. If you have to step away from the kitchen, use a timer to remind you that there’s something on the burner. Better yet, try to avoid circumstances where you would have to leave the kitchen when a burner is on. Cooking something at a certain time is not worth burning the house down!

Clean your oven and stove regularly. Food scraps can easily catch fire.

Keep a fire extinguisher handy and know how to use it.

Furnace & Other heating sources

If you use space heaters in your home, make sure that there is at least three feet of clearance around each one. Keep them away from furniture, bedsheets, draperies, rugs, etc.

Get your furnace and the heating system checked and serviced by an HVAC professional before the start of the winter season. With our Annual Maintenance Plan, you can keep your furnace humming happily throughout the winter months.


Dirty chimneys pose a fire hazard. If necessary, get your chimney cleaned and repaired by a professional before the start of the winter months.

Do not burn anything other than seasoned wood in your fireplace. Better yet, replace your old-fashioned fireplace with a gas-powered one. These are less polluting and can be used even on spare-the-air days, as well as being much less likely to start a house fire.

Get your house’s gas pipes checked for leaks. If you smell gas, leave the house immediately and call PG&E.


Aside from being bad for your health, smoking can also cause house fires. Burning cigarette butts can easily come in contact with flammable materials, such as couches and curtains.

Do not throw away still burning butts into dry leaves outside. This is a bad habit that can easily start a fire.


Candles give the home a cozy feel and a nice scent, but they are a fire hazard. Keep lit candles at least five feet away from anything flammable.

Wirings and outlets

If there are any frayed electrical cords in your house, replace them immediately. They are a serious fire hazard.

Electrical cords should not be covered by rugs or anything else to that effect. You then wouldn’t know if the cord underneath had frayed.

Surges in your electricity supply can also cause fires. It is easy to assume that all power strips contain surge protectors, but not all of them do. Use surge protectors to protect your valuable electronic devices, such as computers and televisions, and to prevent potentially fire-causing sparks.

Duct work

Properly installed duct work

The basics of an HVAC system

There are 3 main factors that go into determining if your furnace will work at its peak efficiency. They are:

1. The furnace itself
2. The duct work
3. The installation

If any of these has a problem, you will know that your furnace/air conditioner is not working to its full capacity. This blog post will deal with the least sexy part of this sytem: the duct work.

The job of duct work is to distribute hot/cold air all through the house equitably. When the duct work is installed properly, the furnace or AC keeps all rooms in the house at a comfortable temperature.

An improperly installed duct system would render your home uncomfortable even if the furnace or the air conditioner is sized correctly for your home and functioning properly.

This is analogous to buying a Mercedes-Benz S-class with tires and inner tubes from the 1970s. Sure, the automobile is high end, but without good tires, you are not going to get the pleasure or the comfort of driving such a exclusive vehicle.

Improperly designed or installed duct work lowers the efficiency of the equipment. If there is a leak in the duct work, your energy bills will be higher even though you may have bought an energy-efficient furnace/AC. The same is true if the duct work is not insulated.

Is your furnace is working to its full capacity?


When you buy a furnace, the equipment comes with the specifications that tells you the temperature rise of the equipment. To see if your furnace is working to its full capacity, turn up the thermostat to 5 degrees over the ambient temperature. This should turn the furnace on.

After about 15 minutes, check the temperature in the register closest to the furnace. You can use a meat thermometer for this. Then check the temperature in the return air.

The temperature difference between the two should be within the range specified in the factory specifications for temperature rise.

If it is not within this range, check the furnace filter. If it is dirty, replace it. Next, make sure that the supply and return registers are not closed or obstructed in any way.

If both these are ok, then it is time to call your HVAC specialist.

RC Mechanical is an owner-operated Redwood City business and provided expert furnace and air conditioning repair and installation to the Bay Area with integrity for over 20 years. Homeowners in Redwood City and throughout the Bay Area count on us for all their heating and air conditioning needs.Call us today at (650) 575-3915.