How to Heat Your Home Safely

Posted October 29th, 2010
by HomeownersInsurance.org Staff (no comments)

The cold winter months are fast approaching, and many families are concerned about keeping safe and warm. We know there are hazards involved with space heaters, but natural gas and other fuels can also be dangerous. To keep yourself and your loved ones safe this winter, follow a few basic tips on safely heating your home.

  • Carbon monoxide. Many heaters release dangerous carbon monoxide gasses, which has no smell but can cause harm to humans, including death. Make sure you have carbon monoxide detectors installed throughout your home and replace the batteries regularly.
  • Check your smoke alarms. Heating appliances can sometimes cause fires. Always be sure you have working smoke detectors on every level of the house, and check the batteries once a month to make sure they’re in good working order.
  • Space heaters. Always read the manufacturer’s instructions before using a space heater, and keep clothing, bedding, and other fabrics at least three feet away from the heater while in use. Unplug space heaters when not in use, and check the electrical cords for damage. Never place furniture or other heavy objects on top of electrical cords, as this can cause them to break or fray. Use space heaters only under close adult supervision, and never leave a space heater running unattended.
  • Chimney sweep. It isn’t just for Mary Poppins fans. Hire a chimney sweep to clean and inspect your chimney every fall. A sweep will fix any cracks, blockages and leaks in your chimney and clean out any build-up that could start a fire.
  • Professional inspection. Did you know you can hire a professional to inspect your furnace, fireplace, and other heating appliances? To make sure they’re all in good working order and don’t pose any health risks, engage a certified professional to inspect your heating system. If you have trouble finding one, contact your homeowners insurance company for a referral.
  • Fireplaces. Be sure you have a sturdy screen or glass doors to cover your fireplace and block any embers that could pop out and start a fire. Train your children to respect fire, and never use your fireplace to burn papers or other household items.
  • Insulate. One of the best tips for heating your home safely is to use less energy. Burning fuels always comes with risk, but you can reduce your fuel consumption – as well as your energy bills – by properly insulating your home.
Categories: Green Living

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