Cooler weather is here and it is never too soon to take some preliminary action to prepare for cooler temperatures. Not only will it save you money on your utility bills it will help ensure your safety and comfort during cold weather.
Home Heating Systems
Should be professionally inspected, cleaned, and serviced at least every other every year. Many companies offer discounted rates for a maintenance call versus an emergency repair. We rely on this equipment to keep us cool all summer and warm all winter. It is one of the hardest working pieces of equipment in the home.
Space heaters can be dangerous if not used with some general safety guidelines in mind. Check your owner’s manuals for general maintenance and cleaning instructions. Each season, before using space heaters, inspect them for proper operation and damage including the power cord. It is more economical to replace older units than to have them repaired. Newer units are safer and more economical to operate. Discard old and/or faulty space heaters in a way that they cannot be used by someone else.
Never use any type of fuel powered heating device inside a closed structure. Not only are they a fire safety threat, but propane and kerosene powered heaters emit carbon monoxide (an odorless gas) which can accumulate rapidly in an enclosed area and have deadly results. Never use gasoline in any space heater.
Gasoline Powered Equipment
Flammable liquids should not be stored inside the home or in an attached garage or shed. This includes any unused fuel still in the motor’s fuel tanks. Store this equipment away from your home or drain excess fuel out of the tank before storing. This simple safety precaution will help prevent accidental fires due to escaping fuel vapors.
Don’t assume these lifesaving appliances work just by looking at it. They require some basic maintenance to make sure they will work properly. Nuisance or false alarms are the number one cause for battery removal and are usually caused by installing units too close to the kitchen and or heating vents. Relocate units closer to, or inside sleeping areas to prevent false alarms. Remember to check your batteries.
- Replace batteries at least once per year, or when otherwise necessary.
- Clean dust and cob webs from around the cover to let air flow inside.
- Replace units that are ten years old, or if reliability is in question.
- Push the test button once a month to make sure it works properly.
Home Fire Escape Plans
Involve everyone in the home, especially children in the design and practice of your plan. Physically practicing the plan helps to identify any unforeseen difficulties anyone may have when trying to escape.
- Designate one meeting place for everyone to gather after evacuating.
- Children need to know how to save themselves when no one can help them.
- Practice the plan once a year or anytime living arrangements change in the home.
- In the event of a fire, get everyone out first. Call 9-1-1 from a phone away from the home.
If you have questions regarding fire safety tips please contact the Newton Fire Department at (641)-792-3347.