Friday, December 2, 2016

10 Tips for Getting Ahead of the Winter Freeze

It's not too early to begin preparing for the heating season. Below is a checklist from the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA) for homeowners to ensure that they safely heat their home for the winter.
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  • Our furnace has been inspected and serviced by a qualified professional during the last 12 months. (A furnace should be serviced at least once a year.)Our fireplace screen is metal or heat-tempered glass, in good condition and secure in its position in front of the fireplace.
  • Our chimeys and vents have been cleaned and inspected by a qualified professional. I have checked for creosote build-up. (An unclean chimney from built-up creosote  is the leading cause of chimney fires. This service needs to be done at least once a year).
  • Our wood for our fireplace or wood stove is dry, seasoned wood.
  • We have a covered metal container ready to use to dispose cooled ashes. (The ash container should be kept at least 10 feet from the home and any nearby buildings.)
  • Our children know to stay at least 3 feet away from the fireplace, wood/pellet stove, oil stove or other space heaters.
  • Our portable space heaters will be plugged directly into an outlet (not an extension cord) and placed at least 3 feet from anything that can burn; like bedding, paper, walls, and even people.
  • We have tested our smoke alarms and made sure they are working. (You need smoke alarms on every level of the home, inside each sleeping room, and outside each sleeping area. For the best protection, the smoke alarms should be interconnected so when one sounds, they all sound.)
  • We have tested our carbon monoxide alarms and made sure they are working. (Carbon monoxide alarms should be located outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home.)