Make sure you’re prepared for the winter months with the following tips to help keep you safe
1. Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and change the batteries.
Are there batteries in them? Are the batteries current? Batteries lose their charge. Make a habit of changing batteries –some people use daylight saving time as a trigger to remind them to test their smoke or carbon monoxide detectors and change their batteries. Home fire alarms last about 10 years. Tip: Write the expiration date for your home fire alarm on the outside of the device where you can see it. Generally, your alarm’s expiration date is hidden after installation because it’s usually under the alarm or on top of the device next to the ceiling.
2. Warm your car outside.
If you warm your car in a garage before leaving your home, be sure to park it outside of the garage with the garage door closed to avoid carbon monoxide entering the house.
3. Prevent water pipes from freezing.
Turn off the water valve connected to the outside faucets.
4. Holiday safety tips: Keep holiday electrical cords and lights away from water. Use battery operated candles.
5. Use ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI).
If water and electrical receptacles are in close proximity to the circuits, make sure they are protected by ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI). They should be tested by pushing the test and reset buttons on the GFCI to be sure they are working properly to keep you safe.
6. Home heating inspection.
A major aspect of the annual maintenance of your home heating system is to check the safety limits and burners for proper operation. Given proper care and attention, your home’s heating and cooling system can last as long as 15 to 20 years.
7. Annually inspect your wood-burning fireplace chimney.
Wood-burning fireplace chimneys need to be checked and cleaned of soot and creosote buildup to ensure proper air flow.
8. Check clothes dryer vents.
Clothes dryer vents should be checked for a buildup of lint. If drying times are getting longer, it means the vent may be getting restricted and not allowing the proper airflow through the appliance
9. Inspect your basement floor drain.
Basement floor drains can let deadly sewer gas into the basement if there is no water in their traps. Pour some water down the floor drain every few months to be sure gas will not come out of them. The same goes for that long-neglected basement bathroom sink and toilet. They need water in the drain pipes.