The ideal time to prepare for the winter temperatures is before the freezing cold weather comes. But most of us don’t think about it until it has arrived. It is not too late to prepare for the heating season. Check out these 10 home safety tips to prepare for the winter freeze and to keep your family safe:
- Be sure that your furnace has been inspected and serviced by a qualified HVAC professional during the last 12 months. A furnace should be serviced and checked at least once a year.
- Have your chimneys and vents cleaned and inspected by a qualified professional. Have them check for creosote build-up. Not cleaning your chimney is the leading cause of chimney fires. This should be done at least once a year.
- Check to be sure that your wood for your fireplace or wood stove is dry, seasoned wood.
- The fireplace screen should be metal or heat-tempered glass, in good condition and secure in its position in front of the fireplace.
- A covered metal container should be ready to use to dispose cooled ashes. The ash container should be kept at least 10 feet from the home and any nearby buildings.
- WATCH your children when they are around fires. Be sure that they stay at lease 3 feet away from the fireplace, wood/pellet stove, oil stove or other space heaters.
- Be sure that your portable space heater has an automatic shut-off.
- Portable space heaters should be plugged directly into an outlet; not with an extension cord. They should be at least three feet from anything that can burn; like bedding, paper, walls and even people. Place a note on your bathroom mirror, or in a place that will remind you to turn-off your portable heater when you leave a room or go to bed.
- Test your smoke alarms and make sure they are working. You need a smoke alarm on every level of your home and in every sleeping area. For the best protection, the smoke alarms should be interconnected so when one sounds, they all sound.
- Have all carbon monoxide alarms tested to be sure they are working. Alarms should be located outside of each sleeping area and on every level of the home.
Be proactive and keep your family safe this winter! Call today to have a professional take a look at your heating unit and while they are at your home have your fire alarms and carbon monoxide alarms checked to be sure the batteries are working. If you don’t have alarms, have them installed. It only takes a few minutes, but it can mean life and death for your loved ones!