Things To Think About Now
Fall and Winter are here! Make sure your home is safe and prepared for the colder weather.
SMOKE ALARMS & CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTORS
The start of fall is a great time to make sure that your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors work, that they have new batteries and are free of dust, and you have a smoke alarm in each bedroom, your main hallways and main living spaces.
According to the U.S. Fire Administration, your smoke alarms should be replaced every 10 years. You can find the manufacturer date on the underside of the device.
Also, if you have a monitored system, this is a great time to contact your monitoring company and make sure your contact information is up to date.
FIREPLACE & CHIMNEY SAFETY
If your fireplace and chimney are not properly maintained, not only are you at risk for a fire, but the smoke emitted throughout your home can damage your health. Improperly maintained fireplaces and chimneys are the cause of a number of house fires each year.
Chimney fires are extremely dangerous due to the high temperatures that are produced from the fire in the fireplace, causing damage to the mortar allowing heat and flames to escape and igniting the surrounding materials. These fires often spread quickly and unnoticed, causing significant fire damage before you realize what’s happening.
Make sure your wood stove and fireplace are in safe working order. Remove any leftover ash or wood debris from the previous season. (Never dispose of ash or coals that might be warm.) Have a professional chimney sweep clean and inspect your fireplace and chimney before you start using it this fall and winter.
If you notice sparks or flames coming from a chimney, please immediately call 911!
FURNACE & ELECTRIC HEATERS
This is a great time to make an appointment for an annual furnace inspection and service. Make sure the filter is clean, the system is running properly and if you have cadet heaters, this is a great time to get them dusted before you turn them on. If your cadet or baseboard heaters are covered in dust, when you turn them on the dust will burn off leaving a smokey smell in your home.
If you are using baseboard or cadet heaters, make sure to always follow the manufacturer’s recommended clearance around your heating unit at all times. Having combustible items (clothing, bedding, paper, etc.) too close to the heater can cause a fire. Remove all items away from your heater that might have been piled too close to it throughout the warmer summer months.
Check to make sure that you have a few fire extinguishers handy throughout your home. The best ones to have are rated for different types of fires, large enough to put out a small fire, yet small enough to lift and handle.
Great places to have extinguishers is in your kitchen, next to your fireplace and also in your garage. If you are unsure on how to work a fire extinguisher, please contact us so that we can help you!
As always – if you need to use a fire extinguisher, you also need to immediately call 911!