Categories: Home Safety, Lifestyle | Posted: November 13, 2015
With the fall season slowly rolling in, the time of year to start preparing your home for the winter months is here. This means taking the right steps to properly and safely heat your home. To ensure that you and your family don’t fall victim to a house fire during this season, here are some suggestions below on how to safely heat your home.
Chimney fires are the most common type of house fire during the winter months. It is important to have your chimney professionally cleaned before lighting the first fire of the year. Removing all debris from the chimney and opening the flue will ensure that your home remains free of dangerous smoke. The type of wood used is also very important. You want to use only a seasoned hardwood such as ash, oak, or maple in your fireplace. Do not burn trash or cardboard boxes. To keep embers off of rugs and carpets, employ the use of fireplace screens or glass fireplace doors. Clean it properly before using so that you and your family can enjoy it the best way you know how in the winter…with S’mores!
Gas Heating Systems:
If you have a gas heating system, place carbon monoxide detectors in your home. Make sure your carbon monoxide detectors are functioning properly. It is important to test your detectors annually. If you ever smell gas, immediately extinguish all flames in your home. Do not operate electrical appliances because they may create sparks. Turn off all gas appliances and make sure pilot lights are extinguished. If you still smell gas, turn off your home’s main gas tap, evacuate immediately and call the gas company from a remote location. If your pilot light produces a red or yellow flame make sure you call for service. Your pilot light flame should be blue in color. If your pilot light goes out, turn off the gas at that heat source and wait several minutes before re-lighting.
Other Heat Sources:
Fires started by the use of space heaters are the second most common type of house fires during the winter months. These heaters certainly come in handy on chilly mornings when all you want to do is bury deep into the warm covers; however, they can also lead to hazardous moments if not used correctly. To ensure your safety, never leave electric space heaters on if they are unattended, and always position them away from flammable objects. Make sure to unplug them when they are not in use, and keeping them away from children and pets is always a wise decision.
It is important to check that all of your heat sources are well maintained. Have a professional examine and clean your home’s heating unit annually. This can ensure that all potentially harmful leaks are repaired. Also, have your chimney professionally cleaned before the first use of the winter season. Most importantly, inspect your smoke alarms to see they are all functioning properly. They should be tested every month, and batteries should be replaced at least twice a year.
Keep these few tips in mind as you move into the colder months and you’re sure to keep cozy until the spring arrives!