There’s no doubt about it, Kansas winters can be brutal. While we are lucky to have plenty of ways to keep our homes cozy no matter what Mother Nature has to offer, we always have to keep safety in mind each heating season. Every heating system comes with some potential danger, especially if there are maintenance and upkeep issues.
The following tips can help you keep your family, and home, both warm and safe all winter long.
- Inspection: It’s not too late to have your heating system or chimney and fireplace inspected. This simple step can find and resolve potentially dangerous issues, including carbon monoxide poisoning and fire.
- Install fire detectors: Every home should have enough fire detectors to match the size of the home. You want them near every sleeping area, near living spaces, and the kitchen. It’s also important to check them to make sure they work, and change the batteries at the start of every heating season.
- Install carbon monoxide detectors: You can’t see or smell carbon monoxide, but it is a deadly hazard to your family. Fortunately, carbon monoxide detectors can alert your family to the presence of carbon monoxide at low levels, allowing you time to escape safely. These should be near sleeping areas, living areas, and appliances that use combustion. Be sure to make sure they work properly and change the batteries regularly.
- Buy fire extinguishers: No home should be without a few ultra-versatile ABC-style fire extinguishers. These are handy all year long, but you need to make sure they are fully functional. Too often people buy them and never replace them, even if they’ve been sitting in the closet for five years! You should also make sure everyone knows where they are and how to use them.
- Create a plan: It’s important that everyone in your home understands fire safety and that they know what to do if a fire breaks out. This is even more important if you have small children, elderly family members, and pets. Make sure everyone knows how to exit safely, and where to meet, should they have to escape the home.
Just a little planning and thought can help protect your family this heating season. If you’re interested in learning more about fire safety, then please visit the American Red Cross or the National Fire Protection Agency.