Entries in winter home safety (2)

Sunday
Nov052017

Homeowner Fall Checklist

Use the fall season to get your home and property prepared for Winter!

1. Stock up on winter supplies (shovels, snow scrapers, wood/pellets, emergency kits, etc.)

2. Shut off exterior faucets, drain them, and store hoses, schedule sprinkler blow out

3. Test all outdoor lighting and replace if needed

4. Test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors

5. Remove window A/C units

6. Mow/Mulch leaves to feed your yard

7. Inspect your roof for potential leaks

Click here for more ideas!

Thursday
Nov062014

Holiday and Winter Home Fire Safety

While the holidays bring festivities and good cheer, family gatherings and yummy treats, it is also the season of increased risk and injury resulting from home fires. 

Seasonal decorations, Christmas trees, candle usage, holiday cooking methods, fireplaces, and space heaters significantly contribute to the increased risk of home fires.  Add to that the distracting nature of the holidays, and it’s easy to see why home fires increase dramatically around the holiday season.

Taking preventative steps is the first line of defense to keep your holiday experience a joyful one.  Paying closer attention when decorating, cooking, entertaining and heating your home can significantly reduce fire hazards.  Following these simple rules below will increase safety and ensure a happy holiday. 

Cooking:

Never leave cooking food unattended.  Keep combustible materials (dish towels, etc.) and loose clothing away from open flames.  Keep your cooking area clean and use caution when cooking with oils as they can ignite easily.  Always turn your pan handle sideways to prevent accidents and burns.  Make sure your kitchen is equipped with a fire extinguisher and easily accessible.

Turkey Fryers:

Only use these types of appliances outdoors and away from buildings and other combustible materials.  Never use on wooden decks or in your garage.  Make sure the appliance is on a level and stable surface and do not leave the appliance unattended.  Never place a frozen turkey in hot oil.  Thaw the turkey first.  Never allow children or pets near the fryer.  The oil can remain hot for several hours after the appliance is turned off.  Keep a fire extinguisher nearby.

Portable heaters, Fireplaces and woodstoves:

Keep heaters a minimum of 36” inches away from combustibles.  Plug directly into a wall outlet.  Never use an extension cord. Use only heaters with built-in high temperature and tip-over shut off features.

Have your fireplace or woodstove inspected annually for deficiencies and creosote buildup.  Make sure your chimney is cleaned before wood burning season use.  Only burn well-seasoned wood and never burn trash or paper in your fireplace.  Keep combustibles 36’ away and never leave the fire unattended.  Dispose of ash in a metal contain and place the container outside and away from combustibles to ensure hot coals won’t start a fire. 

Christmas Trees:

Do not use open flames or candles near a Christmas tree.  Do not place the tree near heat vents, fireplaces, or other heat sources. If needles fall off easily when a branch is shaken or the needles are brittle and break easily, the tree is too try and needs to be removed from the home.  Check the water level daily.  A 6’ tree will consume approximately one gallon of water every two days.  Check the wiring and lights for defects before they are hung on a tree.  Miniature lights are recommended as they use less power and produce less heat. 

Smoke alarms, CO2 sensors, and fire extinguishers

Now is a good time to change the batteries in your smoke alarms and CO2 sensors.  Test each device to ensure proper function.  Locate and make sure your fire extinguishers are charged and ready for action.  Be sure to instruct family members where each extinguisher is located and how to properly use in case of a fire.

With a little pre-planning and keeping safety in mind, your holidays are sure to joyous and filled with wonderful memories of this most wonderful time of the year!