The temperatures are dropping outside, and it’s time to start thinking about how to get cozy inside. You might want to light a fire, or you might decide to run a small space heater for a bit of extra warmth. While these things might help to keep you warm, they can also increase the risks to your home and your health.
Here are a few safety tips to keep in mind for your home heating this winter:
Create a Safe Buffer Zone around Heating Sources
Items can catch on fire when they are a foot or so away from a heating source, such as a radiator or fire place. Just stand close to your heater for more than a few second, and you will feel how hot the area can get.
Make sure you maintain a buffer zone of at least three feet around any heating source. That means keeping all items out of that zone — especially flammable items — and keeping children and pets out of that zone. You’ll reduce the risk of both burns and fires. Put up a gate around the area if you have to in order to protect the zone.
Turn Off Portable Heaters
Portable heaters are a huge fire hazard. If you use them to supplement the heat in your home, make sure your turn them off ANY time you leave the room. Never leave these heaters running over night while you are sleeping, and never leave them on while you are away.
Have All Heating Units Inspected before Use
Debris can accumulate inside heaters in the months that they are not in use, and that debris can become a fire hazard. Likewise, creosote and other chemicals can build up inside a fireplace, creating a serious fire hazard. Hire a professional to inspect all heating units before the season begins to ensure that your heaters, radiators, fireplaces, wood stoves and more are safe for use.
Check Your Fire and Carbon Monoxide Alarms
You should have a fire alarm and carbon monoxide alarm both installed. If you don’t, get them installed now. If you do, make sure you test them to ensure that they are working properly. Replace the batteries even if they are currently working. You don’t know how much life they have left in them, and you don’t want the alarms to fail during a critical moment this season.
Never Use an Oven to Heat Your Home
An oven puts out deadly carbon monoxide fumes, which can kill your whole family before you even know that there is any danger. Never use an oven to heat your home. If you use an open heating source, such as a fireplace, make sure that the flue is open so that smoke and fumes have somewhere to escape.
Of course, even following all these safety precautions, accidents can happen. Make sure you have the right insurance to cover your home and your family in case the worst happens. When it comes to insurance brokers, Toronto has a lot of excellent options from which to choose. Browse plans to find the right coverage for your family from the best-rated