During the winter in northern climates, people huddle indoors. Therefore, winter brings new risks as people turn on heating-related equipment that sat unused during the summer. Keep your family safe by performing maintenance tasks before the season starts and following proper safety precautions.
Your fireplace provides a cozy and nostalgic source of warmth during winter holiday celebrations. However, don’t let the chestnuts roasting in an open fire put your family at risk of death. Make sure that your chimney can properly carry toxic gases out of your house. Blocked and damaged chimneys also increase the risk of fire. An annual appointment with chimney cleaning Washington DC clears the air. The technician inspects your chimney’s structure for defects as well as removing soot and debris.
Space heaters may seem to save on the electric or gas bill by allowing you to heat only a limited zone instead of the entire house. In an older house, a particular spot may feel drafty regardless of the thermostat setting. However, be cautious about using kerosene heaters inside the house because carbon monoxide may build up and poison the home occupants. Make sure that fuel-operated heaters are properly vented. Choosing an electric heater may avoid some risks, but you still need to be careful to keep them away from flammable debris. Do not leave space heaters unattended. Always plug heaters directly into a grounded wall outlet; do not use extension cords.
Test your smoke alarms during the fall time change and replace batteries if needed. Make sure the unit is less than ten years old because smoke detecting technology degrades over time. Many smoke detectors have buttons for testing purposes. Some states now require alarms with sealed batteries in order to avoid the risk that homeowners will remove batteries. If this is the case, make sure you are in compliance with state law.
Keep your household safe this winter by performing routine checks on your chimney, following proper precautions with space heaters, and testing smoke alarms.