How Common Are Furnace Fires? Essential Tips And Guide

What is Furnace Fires?

How Common Are Furnace Fires

Furnace fires can be a nightmare for families and businesses. To reduce the risk, maintain your heating & AC systems regularly with a professional. 

  • Replace the air filter and keep flammable materials away from your furnace. 
  • Monitor your system as time goes by.
  • Malfunctioning heat exchangers, flame rollout, low gas pressure, faulty electrical connections, and dirty burners can all lead to excessive heat. This increases the risk of combustion.
  • Space heaters without proper ventilation, incorrect installation of venting systems, and flues can also increase the risk of fire.

Pro Tip: Hire a reputable HVAC company, like JPS Furnace & Air Conditioning. This will lower energy bills and reduce the potential for furnace fires. So take care and call the JPS team today!

Causes Of Furnace Fires.

Furnace fires can occur due to various factors, including issues with internal components, improper installation, and lack of maintenance. 

  • The combustion process within the furnace can cause excessive heat and flames to roll out of the combustion chamber, leading to a fire.
  •  Additionally, if the furnace flue is not installed correctly, it can cause carbon monoxide to leak into the house, which poses a serious health risk.
  • Extended periods of cold temperatures can also cause furnace fires. 
  • Suppose the heating system is working continuously without any breaks. In that case, it can cause the furnace to overheat and start a fire. Using space heaters excessively can also be a leading cause of house fires.

Regular maintenance of heating equipment is critical to prevent fires. It’s essential to replace air filters regularly and get professional service once a year. A technician will check the gas pressure, blower motor, heat exchanger, and everything else to ensure that the furnace is running smoothly. They will also take care of any visible issues such as corrosion or soot buildup inside the unit.

To avoid fire risk, homeowners need to take care of their furnaces regularly. It’s highly recommended to contact a professional HVAC company like JPS to schedule an appointment for regular maintenance and inspection. If your furnace is old or has a lot of issues, it may need to be replaced with a new furnace. Upgrading to a new, more efficient furnace can also save money on heating bills and reduce the risk of fires.

Why play with fire when you can just have a furnace with efficient combustion and avoid those pesky rollout flames?

Combustion Process and Rollout Flames.

When it comes to furnace fires, the combustion process and rollout flames can be major contributors. 

  • The combustion process is necessary for heating homes, but it must be well-controlled. 
  • Rollout flames occur when poor combustion allows flames to escape the burner area and set fire to surrounding materials.
  • Poor airflow or a blocked filter can disrupt the airflow leading to incomplete combustion. 

If not enough air gets into the furnace during combustion, combustible gases can build up in the heat exchanger, resulting in too much heat and eventually causing a fire.

To prevent troubles from rollout flames and reduced airflow, a few things can be done:

  1. Regular maintenance: Getting an HVAC technician annually to check your furnace can help recognize potential problems before they become big. A deep clean will also stop any accumulation of hazardous substances.
  2. Ventilation: Make sure furnaces and other heat-producing appliances are placed in well-ventilated spots and without any obstacles nearby. Insufficient ventilation in enclosed places such as basements can cause carbon monoxide to accumulate.

By keeping proper maintenance and increasing airflow safety measures, one can effectively prevent the risks from furnace fires caused by errors in the combustion process or rollout flames. 

A furnace without maintenance is like a blind date without research; it’s just asking for trouble.

Lack of Maintenance.

Furnaces need maintenance, or else they could catch fire! Simple tasks like changing air filters, lubricating fan motor bearings, and cleaning up debris can prevent dirt and flammable particles from building up, which leads to overheating and potential fires. It can also interfere with the furnace’s safety systems, like flame and temperature sensors.

No matter if it’s gas or electric, furnace maintenance is essential. Getting professional check-ups is the best way to make sure it’s in good shape; it could save you from a dangerous and expensive disaster.

So don’t wait until it’s too late – schedule your furnace’s next check-up today! Keep your family and home safe, and avoid costly repairs.

Thermostat and Pressure Issues.

Furnace fires can be caused by malfunctioning thermostats and pressure issues. 

Check these 3 areas:

Faulty Thermostat CalibrationMisreading temperature and overheating.Fire due to excessive heating.
Low PressureInadequate fuel supply to the burners.Eroded pipes, ruptures, or leaks in the gas line.

It’s vital to regularly maintain home heating systems. Quickly address any misaligned thermostat calibrations, and solve low-pressure issues before they get out of hand.

One homeowner had a small fire due to a problematic thermostat that had gone unchecked for years. This resulted in costly repairs. To prevent such accidents, ensure regular furnace inspections. 

If your furnace is behaving like your ex, replace its malfunctioning components before it burns down!

Malfunctioning Internal Components.

Furnaces can be a fire hazard if their internal components are malfunctioning. 

  • For instance, a damaged heat exchanger could produce carbon monoxide and ignite other materials.
  •  Blocked burners can also cause immense pressure buildup, leading to explosions.
  • The blower motor helps circulate air throughout the system. When it breaks down or overheats, it can start a fire. 
  • Similarly, faulty gas valves can cause gas leaks and set off an explosion.

It is important to have skilled professionals inspect and maintain your furnace. Neglecting warning signs and delaying repairs can be life-threatening.

 Homeowners should educate themselves about furnace safety protocols and schedule annual services to prevent disasters.

Installation Problems.

Poorly installed furnaces can be disastrous, causing fires no matter if you do it yourself or hire a professional. 

Faulty wiring or incorrect ducts can lead to overheating, which can cause explosions and spread flames. To avoid this, make sure electricians and HVAC technicians adhere to codes and regulations. Have licensed inspectors inspect your furnace too.

Don’t wait until it’s too late. Take action now! Ignoring maintenance routines can lead to major safety issues or worse. Make sure only qualified professionals install and maintain your heating system. Scheduling regular checks from reliable HVAC contractors is essential to ensure local building codes/regulations are met.

Maintaining your furnace is necessary to prevent a painful fire. Don’t let outdated equipment put your family or co-workers at risk. Act now!

Prevention And Maintenance Of Fires Caused By Furnace. 

Preventing Furnace Fires through Proper Care and Maintenance.

Maintaining and caring for your furnace is critical in preventing fires. 


  • Regularly checking air filters and scheduling professional maintenance can reduce the risk of a fire. 
  • It’s essential to keep the heat exchanger, blower motor, and combustion chamber clean and free from dirt, soot, or corrosion. 
  • It’s also important to inspect the furnace flue and chimney for any damage or leaks, which can cause carbon monoxide buildup.


  • One way to prevent fires is to have a professional technician inspect and service your furnace at least once a year. 
  • They will check the gas pressure, combustion process, and flame rollout, ensuring everything is working correctly. 
  • Additionally, a tech can inspect and clean the internal components of the furnace, which can wear out over time, causing efficiency and safety issues.

Last year, a customer called our company, JPS, to replace their old gas furnace with a new and more efficient model. During the installation, our team discovered that the previous unit had not been cleaned or serviced in years, leading to excessive heat and flame roll. This issue created a fire risk and posed a health hazard to the family living in the house. Fortunately, we were able to replace the old unit, keeping the family safe and comfortable.

Regular furnace maintenance: The best way to avoid a fiery family reunion.

Regular Furnace Maintenance.

Keep your furnace running smoothly with regular maintenance

Here’s a 4-step guide:

  1. Schedule an annual inspection with a professional technician. They’ll check for issues, clean the system, and replace parts.
  2. Change the air filters to improve air quality and prevent clogging.
  3. Keep the area around the furnace clutter-free to avoid fire hazards and maintain airflow.
  4. Test the carbon monoxide detector regularly.

Note: Never try to repair or replace furnace parts yourself. Call an authorized service provider.

If your furnace is old or not functioning well, consider upgrading or replacing it. This can save energy and improve air quality!

Fun Fact: Furnaces have existed for almost 2000 years! Ancient Romans used Hypocaust technology to heat their houses and public baths using hot air circulating through underfloor tunnels.

Air Filter Replacement and Cleaning.

Replacing and cleaning air filters is key to good air quality indoors. 

  • A blocked filter decreases the efficiency of your HVAC system, making energy bills higher.
  •  Not replacing/cleaning them can also lead to breathing problems

Here’s a 4-step guide:

  1. Turn off the HVAC system to avoid dust flying around.
  2. Locate the filter. It’s usually behind a furnace panel or returns vent.
  3. Take out any debris and the old filter.
  4. Put in a new filter or wash and dry reusable ones before reinstalling.

Reusing filters isn’t always a good idea; they may shed fibers during washes and clog ducts. To keep air pristine, replace disposable filters monthly or less if use is low. Reusable filters should be cleaned after every three uses.

Healthline warns us of indoor pollutants which cause health risks. It suggests regular HVAC maintenance, including filter changes/cleans. 

Get it right, or you’ll just vent your frustration!

Proper Installation and Venting.

When it comes to maintaining your home, proper installation and venting are essential. 

Here are 6 steps to follow:

  1. Check the area you’ll be installing the appliance for potential hazards or obstructions.
  2. Read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions to avoid mistakes.
  3. Use materials designed for your appliance to reduce malfunctions or fires.
  4. Seal vents or exhaust pipes to stop harmful gasses from entering your home.
  5. Position vents for maximum airflow and efficiency.
  6. Check and clean filters and screens to prevent blockages.

Remember that different appliances may need different ventilation and installation. Ask a professional if unsure.

The US Consumer Product Safety Commission reports 22,000 residential fires per year due to improper installation and maintenance of dryers

Monitor gas pressure and carbon monoxide levels to stay safe and ruin your roommate’s (silent but deadly) attempts.

Monitoring Gas Pressure and Carbon Monoxide Levels.

It’s essential to detect gas leaks in time, as they can result in explosions or fire dangers. Moreover, exposure to high levels of carbon monoxide can be dangerous and may cause severe health problems or even death.

To protect against overpressure, install a pressure relief valve. Additionally, use a CO detector to measure the levels of CO regularly.

For maintenance tasks, get a qualified technician yearly. A professional inspection is the best way to ensure your gas appliances are kept in good condition. If the gas pressure drops, contact an expert immediately.

 If the CO levels exceed the limit, air out the room right away and seek medical help if any symptoms arise.

Annual Inspection by a Professional Technician.

Annual inspections by a pro technician are must-dos to ensure your equipment’s longevity. They give a thorough assessment of potential issues, so maintenance and prevention strategies can be done quickly.

During the inspection, the technician uses special tools and techniques to examine wear, leaks, and damage. Plus, they clean and lubricate parts where needed to make sure everything is in good condition.

It’s not just about finding existing problems; annual inspections also prevent future issues. Regular maintenance and repairs can ward off small problems before they turn into big ones.

Take the 1982 Kansas City Hyatt Regency Walkway for example! A regular inspection detected minor design flaws, which were fixed during preventive maintenance. If this had been done in the engineering phase, the walkway collapse that killed 114 people could have been avoided.

Investing in annual inspections pays off in the end. Prioritizing preventative maintenance keeps your equipment running optimally for years.

Dealing With Furnace Fires.

As a professional in HVAC, it is essential to know how to deal with the risk of furnace fires. 

Here is a six-step guide to ensure that your home is always safe:

  1. Regular maintenance is critical. Ensure a qualified technician checks your furnace at least once a year.
  2. Check your air filter monthly to keep the airflow and prevent potential overheating.
  3. Install a carbon monoxide detector to alleviate health risks.
  4. Ensure your thermostat is working effectively to prevent excessive heat.
  5. Keep the area around the furnace clear to allow proper ventilation.
  6. If you smell gas, call a professional immediately and evacuate the house.

It is also essential to understand that furnace fires can be caused by a range of factors, including internal components like the combustion chamber and heat exchanger and external factors like space heaters and extended periods of equipment usage. However, furnace fires’ leading cause is the lack of regular maintenance, leading to the accumulation of soot and corrosion inside the furnace

To avoid the fear of missing out on any potential risk, call our team at JPS for a furnace maintenance appointment or to discuss options for a new furnace

Remember, the safety of your family and property should always come first. 

Turning off your furnace and gas supply might save your house from becoming a crispy critter.

Turning Off the Furnace and Gas Supply.

In the case of a furnace fire, turning it off and the gas supply is essential.

 Here’s what to do:

  1. Find the emergency switch for the furnace.
  2. Flip the switch to ‘off’.
  3. Turn off the gas supply valve near the furnace or outside your home.
  4. Call a professional technician right away.

Keep in mind: Let trained professionals handle repairs or restart the equipment. Also, follow safety precautions from the manufacturer’s guide before regular maintenance.

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports that heating equipment caused 48,000 home structure fires in the U.S. between 2011-2015. This resulted in 530 deaths per year.

If your furnace is on fire, don’t forget to call 911! But no marshmallows.

Contacting Emergency Services.

When a furnace fire erupts, act fast to protect people and belongings. 

  • Don’t hesitate to call emergency services. The operator will ask for your location, the kind of fire, and other important info before sending firefighters.
  • When dialing, stay calm and provide precise details. Give your name and say you have a fire in your furnace. Answer all questions asked by the operator. Also, mention any potential hazards such as gas leaks or chemicals close by.
  • It’s better to call even if you think you can manage the situation. Furnace fires can rapidly become worse and endanger lives, so don’t wait!
  • Don’t let fear take control; dial emergency services if your furnace catches fire. Being careful can make the difference between safety and tragedy.

Remember, the only way to make sure it’s not a drill is to be standing outside your home in your pajamas!

Evacuating the House.

When it comes to a furnace fire, the number 1 priority is evacuating your house fast and safely

Here’s how:

  1. Alert all people in the house ASAP!
  2. Move everyone to a safe spot away from the house.
  3. Call the fire department. Give them your address and any info about the fire.
  4. Wait for help, and do what they say.

Every second counts! Get out of danger as soon as you can.

Also, make a plan for future emergencies. Discuss an evacuation strategy with family so everyone knows what to do in the case of a fire.

Finally, if it’s safe, turn off the gas/power before leaving. This will stop more damage and lessen the risks firefighters face.

Furnace fires can heat your home, but they can also bring trouble. Be careful!

Health Risks and Damage.

Furnace fires are a serious threat.

Toxic fumes can cause respiratory issues, nausea, and headaches. Plus, the high heat generated by the fire can damage your property.

Avoiding accidental furnace fires is essential. Have a qualified technician inspect and maintain your heating system; they can check for wear and tear on components and remove debris that could block vents.

If a furnace fire does occur, don’t try to put it out! Evacuate your home and call 911. Have an emergency evacuation plan in place so you’re prepared for such a situation.

Be aware of signs something is wrong with your heating system: strange smells or noises. Inspections and maintenance will help reduce the risk of fire hazards and keep your home safe.

 If your furnace can’t be repaired, think of it as an opportunity to upgrade to a fireplace!

Repair and Replacement Options.

When it comes to furnace fires, repair and replacement options are key for keeping your home and family safe.

 Here’s what to think about:

  1. Repairing: Minor damage can be fixed with a pro’s help.
  2. Replacing parts: If certain components need to be replaced, this can be more affordable than getting a whole new unit.
  3. Upgrading: Consider a newer model if your furnace is outdated or inefficient – it’ll help with heating and energy bills.
  4. Maintenance: Regular maintenance can avoid major repairs. Get help from a licensed technician.
  5. Insurance: Your home insurance could cover fire-related damages. Check with your provider.
  6. Replacement: In severe cases, replacing the whole furnace might be necessary for safety.

DIY repairs are not recommended as they can cause further harm or injury. Cost and safety should be taken into account.

Remember, improper insulation or bad venting around ductwork can increase furnace fire risks. Make sure installation is done by certified pros and review ventilation requirements often.

In 2019, 44,000 home fires were caused by heating systems, with $740 million in property damage. Be proactive and maintain your furnace.

 A well-maintained furnace is like a good friend; reliable, warm, and unlikely to set your house on fire.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How common are furnace fires?

A: Furnace fires are relatively rare, but they can still occur.

Q: What is the frequency of furnace fires?

A: The frequency of furnace fires varies depending on several factors, such as the age and condition of the furnace, maintenance practices, and the type of fuel being used. However, according to statistics, furnace fires account for a small percentage of overall residential fires.

Q: What are some common causes of furnace fires?

A: Furnace fires can be caused by a range of factors, including malfunctioning or damaged components, improper installation, lack of regular maintenance, clogged or blocked ventilation systems, electrical issues, or fuel leaks.

Q: Are newer furnaces less prone to fires?

A: Generally, newer furnaces are designed with improved safety features and regulations in place, making them less prone to fires compared to older models. However, it is still important to properly maintain and inspect even newer furnaces to ensure their safe operation.

Q: Can routine maintenance help prevent furnace fires?

A: Yes, regular maintenance is crucial in preventing furnace fires. Scheduling annual professional inspections, cleaning or replacing filters, clearing debris around the furnace area, and checking for any signs of damage can help identify and address potential fire hazards before they become serious issues.

Q: What are some signs that indicate a potential fire hazard in a furnace?

A: Several warning signs may indicate a potential fire hazard in a furnace, including unusual or persistent odors, frequent on-and-off cycling, strange noises, excessive soot or debris buildup, visible cracks or damage to the furnace, or a sudden increase in utility bills. If any of these signs are present, it is advisable to have a qualified technician inspect the furnace.


Furnace fires are an unfortunate reality. Regular maintenance by a pro can help reduce fire risk and ensure efficient combustion. Keep the air filter clean, check for leaks and schedule inspections. Address any furnace issues promptly to avoid damage. JPS HVAC is highly recommended for its exceptional service. Flame rollout can cause fires when something blocks the flue or airflow. Corrosion or soot buildup can also lead to fire risk. Space heaters used improperly or left on for long periods can start fires too. Take care of your furnace for lower bills and longer life. Contact a technician for maintenance and repair. The NFPA says 50,000 house fires in 2019 involved heating equipment. Don’t be a statistic. Use the pros at JPS HVAC for quality installation, repair, and maintenance services that prioritize safety, efficiency, and comfort.