Fall Clean-up Tips to Keep Your Home SafeBy Child Safety Specialist Nov 22, 2010 | 11:30:00 amPosted in: Fire Prevention, Home
For some of us (like me) the fact that winter is on its way is not the most exciting thought. I’m already dreading the freezing mornings and the delayed school openings. Of course my kids are eagerly anticipating that first snow day!
Now’s the time though to make sure that your home is prepared for the winter. This weekend, take some time to look around your house and check off these items:
Have your oil burner serviced – Call a service technician to come and clean your furnace and make sure it’s functioning properly. The greatest concern with oil burners is that they back up and cause carbon monoxide to be released into your home. Carbon monoxide is a deadly, odorless gas that can go undetected if you don’t have CO detectors installed in your home. If your furnace is functioning properly the CO and other gases are forced up the chimney and out of your house but if it is dirty or malfunctioning they can back-up.
Be sure that the technician replaces the oil filter, oil pump strainer and the burner nozzle. He should also clean the chimney and flues as well as the boiler itself. Be sure that before he leaves he conducts a combustion efficiency test and runs the heat to be sure that he did not shut off the pump or close a valve by mistake. You don’t want to find out the first freezing night that you don’t have heat!
Clean your fireplace – It’s equally important to clean your fireplace before using it this winter. Soot and leaves could be blocking the ventilation window or the flue could be jammed. Have the flue, fireplace and chimney all cleaned and, if you have a new baby in the house, make sure you childproof the fireplace before using as well.
Check outdoor lighting – If your lights are on timers, be sure to reset them now that it’s getting darker earlier in the day. Check all driveway lighting to be sure no bulbs have burned out. Consider setting up holiday outdoor lighting now before it gets cold and potentially slippery on a ladder!
Clean out your gutters – This seems to be the job most people hate doing but leaf-clogged gutters can cause serious damage. If rainwater and snow cannot run off properly it can cause basement flooding and foundation erosion. The wet, clogged leaves can also hide termites and mosquitoes and lead to mold. Hey, it’s a tough job, but someone has to do it!
Change your batteries! – If you didn’t do it when you turned your clocks back, test the batteries NOW on your smoke detectors and CO detectors.
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