Turning The Heat On Safely

Most of us have them and need them when the temperature drops, but furnaces can leak poisonous gas. Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas. It can give you a headache or could even kill you. A local union is responding to homes across the metro, helping residents turn their heat on safely.

Don't call local foreman Brent Hollman a hero as he would disagree. “It's just the right thing to do.” Hollman is part of a group of Local 464 that headed out Saturday to help families safely turn on their furnaces for free.

“To make sure the people involved in the program have heat. We will come out, we'll check the furnace, check the burners and check the heat exchanger."

With help, Hollman got to work on a furnace at 77th and Blondo in Omaha. “Burners are already clean." The pair took a look inside to check each part. “Biggest thing on these Tranes as far as for reliability and making sure the heat doesn't go out on them, you are going to want to pull the flame sensor out and clean it."

Besides making sure the heat will last, they were also testing for carbon monoxide leaks. Another part of the service was checking the chimney, making sure that everything was clean and the pathway was clear for when they burn wood and make a fire. There was no stone left unturned to make sure people have a safe, warm winter.

“It means a lot to me because my husband passed away. When he was living he used to take care of all that kind of stuff." At Gertrude Paige's house, a visit from Hollman means peace of mind during the winter. “There is so many people nowadays that really can't help themselves, they really don't know where to begin to go to get help. That's one of the first parts. I think with this it really gives people assurance."

This is the 25th year the steamfitters and plumbers of Local 464 have provided the free service. Around 150 homes were visited on Saturday.

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