As this blog goes to press, it’s just about the coldest it’s been during this winter of 2015 – 2016. Outdoors, that is. And so it follows that when our thoughts turn to keeping warm, even more thoughts turn to the various means at your disposal for keeping your home and family extra nice and warm.
Given all that, we’d like to suggest yet another thought track to follow, i.e., home heating safety. It’s on days and nights like this when it’s absolutely vital that you’re aware of what CAN go wrong so you can help ensure nothing DOES go wrong.
- Be careful what you burn – If you can’t wait to light your next fire, just be sure that your supply of wood is fireplace appropriate. And that means dry season wood with no more than 25% moisture content. Anything else will cause extra amount of creosote to build up inside your chimney, and that’s a chimney fire waiting to happen.
- All eyes on the space heater – If you have an older home that’s drafty in spots, chances are you keep one or more space heaters handy for days like today. If so, and you’re ready to fire one or more of them up, just remember to shut them off when you’re leaving the room, even if just for a few minutes. What’s more, keep all clothes and fabrics of any kind, plus anything else combustible, well away from your heaters.
- Is your heating system well vented? – If you have an oil- or gas-fired furnace or boiler, then your home also has at least one vent to allow carbon monoxide and other gases to safely vent from your home. Do you even know where those vents are? If not, today’s a great day to find out and to ensure that they are properly sealed and obstruction free. Otherwise, the gases have nowhere to go except back inside.
- Time for a battery check – Speaking of carbon monoxide, when was the last time you checked the batteries inside your CO detectors. Remember: even if you have hard-wired smoke and CO detectors, they still have battery back-up in case you lose power, so they still need to be checked just like battery-only detectors.
- What’s for dinner? – No matter how cold it might get in your kitchen, please don’t use your oven as a heat source. It’s a fire hazard, no matter what kind of oven you have. And it’s another avenue to CO poisoning should yours be a gas range and oven.
How about your furnace? Specifically, when was the last time you had it professionally cleaned and inspected. If it’s been a year or more, we invite you to contact Air Professional Associates now to schedule service. With regular (annual) preventative maintenance, we can help make your home a safer environment while saving you money on home heating costs. It’s the ultimate win/win. In the meantime, keep warm, and please observe the proper safety precautions while you’re at it.