Five Ways to Safeguard Your Home This Winter
November 2, 2023
As the temperatures drop and the days get shorter, it’s a natural feeling to create a warm and cozy home. Unfortunately, as we see increased use of heating equipment, candles, and electrical items, home fires tend to increase during winter. Here are five ways you can safeguard your home for the winter season.
Ensure carbon monoxide and smoke detectors are working properly. If your detectors are battery-operated, replace the batteries annually. Test the detectors once a month and dust them well to ensure the sensors are clear of dirt and debris.
Inspect electrical cords. We depend on more cords during winter, whether for holiday lighting, extension cords, or portable heaters. Before using any corded items:
Double-check to make sure cords aren’t frayed or cracked. If you use portable space heaters, remember to keep them at least 3 feet away from flammable items.
Use models that include an auto shut-off and overheat protection.
Remember that space heaters can take a toll on your energy bills, so make sure you use them safely and efficiently (to heat smaller spaces).
Never plug a space heater into a power strip.
Avoid overloading electrical outlets and power strips. When overloading a power strip with electrical items, outlets, and power strips can overheat and catch fire. If you use power strips for multiple devices, make sure the strip can handle the electrical load. For a safer bet, look for power strips that include surge protection.
Clean the fireplace to improve safety and efficiency. There’s nothing better than a warm fire on a chilly night, but it’s important to maintain your fireplace for safety. As wood burns, a sticky substance known as creosote builds up in the chimney. When creosote buildups and becomes too thick, a chimney fire can ignite. The chimney should be cleaned yearly to reduce fire risks. Regular cleaning also improves airflow and limits the amount of carbon monoxide that seeps indoors.
Practice safety in the kitchen. Be mindful of potential fire hazards as we spend more time in the kitchen during the holiday season. Never leave food that’s cooking on the stovetop unattended. Clean and remove spilled foods from cooking surfaces, and be careful where you place flammable items like dish towels.