We go into many homes on a daily basis to service, repair and replace furnaces. We are frequently surprised at the unsafe conditions we see in these furnace rooms.
Furnaces have different levels of safety devices built into them. Furnaces twenty years old or older have basic safety devices, modern furnaces have many more safety features. No matter the age, though, furnaces have no defense against one thing in particular. A furnace cannot protect you from an unsafe furnace room.
Don't store combustibles within 3 feet of a furnace, and don't store flammables in the furnace room at all. If you store gasoline (lawnmower fuel for example), paint thinners or any other flammable substance in the furnace room, you are playing Russian Roulette with house fires.
With the heating season upon us, now is a good time to clean up that furnace room. Move all flammable compounds to another storage location, and make sure there is nothing stored within 3 feet of the furnace.
Every year families experience house fires and many of them are caused by unsafe conditions in the furnace room. Take the time now to clean up your furnace room and you can improve your protection against these very preventable cases.