The heating season is one of the best times for evaluating home safety because more fires occur during the winter than any other time of year. Your home is also tightly closed, concentrating gases and chemical fumes. This checklist can help you organize your project, making sure you cover all the basics.
- Check your smoke alarms at least once a year. The batteries can run down, and the alarms may need replacing if the batteries are fresh and the alarm won’t sound when you press the test button.
- Carbon monoxide (CO) detectors should be checked monthly. They use more battery power than smoke alarms.
- If you burn wood in a fireplace, have a chimney sweep clean the chimney annually if you use it a lot. Creosote builds inside and represents a serious fire hazard.
- Have your gas-fired furnace professionally maintained annually. Any system that uses fuel for heating needs to be thoroughly cleaned and adjusted each year for the safest operation.
- Don’t overload electrical outlets by using cube-style plugs.
- If you use space heaters, avoid using extension cords and choose only heaters that shut off when they’re tipped.
- Turn off any appliance that sparks, smokes or smells like hot or burning rubber. Either repair or replace it.
- Frayed cords are a major electrical hazard. If you can see the wires, discard the cord.
- Don’t overlook an attached garage when evaluating home safety. If you keep chemicals in the garage or park your car inside it, be sure that the common wall is tightly sealed and the adjoining door has adequate weatherstripping on it to block the fumes.
- Make sure that all the hazardous chemicals in your home are tightly covered and stored safely.
- Don’t use flammable aerosols indoors in the winter if you have a forced-air heating system. If you must, turn the furnace off until the fumes have dissipated.
If you would like more information about evaluating home safety with regard to your heating system, contact Arpi’s Industries Ltd. We’ve provided HVAC services for the Calgary region for more than 50 years.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Calgary, Alberta about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about evaluating home safety and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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