The fall and winter seasons are usually a busy and exciting time of the year for many families. Many activities such as sports, and the holidays occupy a lot of our time. While managing the hustle and bustle that comes with these seasons, it is very easy to overlook the small things that need to be done to prepare our homes for a safe fall and winter season. Servicing and repairing home heating equipment is one example of safety preparations.
Safety First - Inspect and Maintain Your Equipment
Homes are heated in various ways ranging from gas or electric central heating units, fireplaces, wall heaters, floor furnaces and electric radiant heaters. The common factor among these units is they must be properly maintained. A lack of maintenance or repair can lead to dangerous consequences such as fire, or carbon monoxide poisoning.
To reduce the risk of fire caused by heating equipment, have all units inspected and serviced every year by a qualified technician. Fireplaces and chimneys should also be inspected and cleaned by a professional chimney sweep to determine if any problems exist that could result in severe property damage. Residents should also install and maintain smoke detectors within the home.
To reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning, the Center for Disease Control recommends the following:
- Have your heating system, water heater, and any other gas-, oil-, or coal-burning appliances serviced by a qualified technician every year.
- Install a battery-operated CO detector in your home and check or replace the battery when you change the time on your clocks each spring and fall.
- If your CO detector sounds, evacuate your home immediately and telephone 911.
- Seek prompt medical attention if you suspect CO poisoning and are feeling dizzy, light-headed, or nauseated.
- Do not use a generator, charcoal grill, camp stove, or other gasoline- or charcoal-burning device inside your home, basement, or garage or near a window.
- Do not run a car or truck inside a garage attached to your house, even if you leave the door open.
- Do not burn anything in a stove or fireplace that is not vented.
- Do not heat your house with a gas oven.
- The fall and winter seasons are an exciting and enjoyable time of the year. Make sure it is a SAFE time of year for your family and enjoy the seasons.
More information is available at https://www.cdc.gov/co/