There is an alarming increase in fires around this time of the year as people set out to heat their homes for the first time of the fall/winter season. The problem is that a litany of people may fail to see to the upkeep of those products that are necessary for warmth.
With the holidays coming up, you want to be able to spend them in your home, and doing that will require taking steps to prevent a blaze from breaking out. Therefore, you might want to take a look at the tips provided by Cal Fire in a new report.
Before you ever turn the heater on for the first time this season, you need to make sure that the mere act of flipping the switch isn’t going to endanger you and your family. There is a good chance that, in the months that have passed since the heater was last on, lint and dust could have clogged various ducts in the vicinity. Vacuum all ducts prior to ignition. When that’s complete, replace the filter on the furnace, something that’s particularly important if it has become similarly clogged. And if you have kids, be on the lookout for toys that may have slipped into the vents in recent months.
If your home has a chimney, then the same kind of attention to detail has to be taken with this amenity as well. Your first stop should be the fireplace itself. Make sure that it’s still in good repair so that embers can’t make their way into your home. Then, either invest in a flue brush to clean out any ash and debris or else hire a chimney sweep to do this for you. That way, you can rest assured nothing inside the chimney will be set alight.
Anything that uses gas inside the home, like a stove, needs to be in adequate repair as well. This is your opportunity to conduct a thorough check of any and all lines to ensure that they’re still in the proper shape to conduct gas safely. This is vital when it actually comes time to turn on said gas-burning appliances. If there ever comes a time where you smell gas or begin to feel light-headed for any reason, turn off appliances at once and exit the house. You can open windows on your way, but if that will take too long, get outside and come back in to do so when it’s safe.
Finally, make sure any fire or carbon monoxide leak will be adequately sussed out. Test smoke and carbon monoxide alarms on a regular basis so that you know you’ll be able to get your family out in time should an emergency present itself.