Winter is a joyous time of the year, a time to cozy up by the fire, decorate for the holidays and spend time with friends and family. But with winter also comes the increased threat of fire and freeze hazards that can turn any blissful holiday season into a disastrous mishap. Hybrid Heating & Cooling’s 7 home safety tips will help protect your home and your family throughout the winter months ahead.
- Smoke & CO Detector Safety
Make sure you have smoke and CO detectors installed on every level of your home and remember to change the batteries at least once per year. It’s also suggested that you test them frequently to make sure they are in proper working condition.
- Check Expiration Dates
Did you know that smoke detectors, CO alarms and fire extinguishers have expiration dates? Before you get overwhelmed with all of your holiday to-dos make sure you check the device expirations and replace if necessary. As a rule of thumb smoke detectors should be replaced every 8-10 years. CO alarms as well as fire extinguishers should be replaced every 5-7 years.
- Clean Your Fireplace & Chimney
There’s nothing like a warm fire on a cold winter’s night, but before you light up make sure you’ve had it professionally cleaned and inspected.
- Prepare Your Furnace for Winter
Reduce the likelihood of unexpected heating breakdowns and repairs by having your furnace cleaned and inspected yearly. Annual furnace maintenance also helps to maximize the performance and efficiency of your system, saving you a bundle on your monthly energy expenses.
- Be Smart When Using Supplemental Heat Sources
If not used properly, space heaters can pose significant safety hazards. First when choosing a space heater make sure its equipped with tip-over and overheat protections. It’s always a best practice to plug a space heater directly into a wall outlet, without the use of extension cords that increase the risk of the unit overheating. Always place a space heater at least 3 feet away from furniture, window treatments, bedding, clothing, rugs and other combustibles. Never leave a space heater unattended and unplug if not in use.
- Use Caution with Holiday Decorations
Reduce the likelihood of holiday lighting-related fires by inspecting your lights and other décor for frayed wires. Switch to LED lights if possible which emit less heat. Also take caution not to overload your home’s electrical outlets and reduce if not eliminate the usage of extension cords. Choosing a fire retardant-treated artificial tree instead of a real tree that dries out can lower your risk of fires as well.
- Drain Your Outdoor Faucets
Before freezing temperatures set in, don’t forget to turn off the water supply to your outdoor faucets and sprinkler systems allowing them to fully drain. Also detach any garden hoses and store them safely for winter.