If you use a boiler for heating one of the most important things you need to do is check it for safety in the fall. A person should check the boiler at the beginning of the heating season and about once a month when it is in operation.
Boiler Pressure Relief Valve
The main thing you should check on the boiler is the boiler pressure relief valve. This device lets off excess steam or hot water and keeps pressure from building up and damaging the boiler. These valves usually look like pipes and can be anywhere on the boiler.
All you have to do is glance at this valve and the area around it and check to see that water or steam hasn’t been coming out. If it looks like lots of water or steam has been coming out you should call for boiler service.
Something else to do is make sure the valve it isn’t blocked. Also check to see that there is nothing that can be damaged by jets of steam or hot water coming out of the relief valve. In particular make sure there is no way that steam or water from the boiler pressure relief valve can hit or damage any sort of electrical wiring or electrical device.
You should also make sure that people won’t be sitting, walking or working in areas where they could be hit by steam or hot water from the boiler.
Modern boilers are extremely safe devices that present no fire hazard when operated properly. Unfortunately carelessness can turn a boiler into a fire hazard.
Make sure that nothing is sitting on the boiler or stored right next to it. In particular make sure that paper, plastics, flammable liquids, wood, wooden items, cardboard, cardboard boxes, clothe, clothing and chemicals are stored no where near the boiler. These items should be kept at least five feet from the boiler.
Children and Boilers
Children should never be allowed to play on or near the boiler. Boilers can get hot and burn kids. Kids can also open up the boiler and get to the pilot light inside so keep them away from the boiler. Children playing near a boiler can also get burned by steam or hot water from the pressure relief valve.
If you have small children in the house it might be a good idea to keep the boiler room locked so they can’t get into it. Pets should also be kept away from the boiler.