How Safe is Heating Oil?

Date: September 28, 2018

Happy family

Surveys have shown that while heating oil customers have exceptionally high levels of satisfaction with the service they receive, many people, particularly younger ones, have big misconceptions about the safety of heating a home with oil.*

The truth is, heating oil has always been a remarkably safe fuel. People who understand this say this is a big reason why they choose to stay with oil heat instead of switching to another fuel. As you continue to enjoy the comfort and safety of your oil-heated home, here are a few points to keep in mind:

Staying safe from carbon monoxide

You probably already know that oil heat poses a very low risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. If an oil burner malfunctions (most often due to a lack of maintenance), you will usually see smoke emitting from your boiler or furnace to indicate that something is wrong. Plus, the safety devices in the unit will typically shut the furnace or boiler off.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that oil heat consumers shouldn’t have working carbon monoxide detectors inside their home, especially near all bedrooms. Besides a malfunctioning boiler or furnace, there are many other sources for carbon monoxide leaks, including:

Make sure you check your carbon monoxide (and smoke) detectors regularly to confirm they operate properly!

You will be able to enhance heating oil safety even further by getting system maintenance done regularly. This will ensure that your boiler or furnace operates with optimum safety and efficiency.

*Based on the NORA-funded Oilheat Consumer Research Study.