Your holiday memories are supposed to be happy—not marred by a sudden home fire or everyone running out the door because of a gas leak. As you count down the days to Christmas, make sure you also take a few minutes to ensure that your holidays are safe and merry (after all we do wish everyone a “Merry Christmas!”).
Blow out candles.
Candles can be a beautiful decoration that gives your home a cozy holiday feel. To make sure your beautiful candle doesn’t turn into a terrible fire, double and triple check all holiday candles are blown out before you go to bed or leave the house. When decorating your home, place candles several feet away from curtains, drapes, or other flammable materials.
Be REALLY careful with space heaters.
While space heaters can give off a welcome heat during our cold winters, they can also be a fire hazard. Turn off your space heater when you need to head out, and place your space heater several feet away from curtains and furniture when you have it turned on. If you have a space in your home that needs additional heat and you don’t want to use a space heater, contact a HVAC company about radiant heating or a heat pump.
Check and double check your wood furnace and fireplace.
If you haven’t performed annual maintenance on your wood boiler or fireplace, now is the time to inspect and keep your wood burner running safely through the winter when you need it. In addition to reducing your risk for a fire, you can also keep your wood furnace running efficiently. If you have a fireplace or stove, have your chimney inspected. Contact chimney professionals to schedule an inspection so you can prevent carbon monoxide build-up or a fire.
Place a fire-proof screen or sturdy covering in front of your fireplace.
Invest in a fire-proof screen for your fireplace. This simple step can keep stray embers from damaging your home or injuring any family members or pets enjoying the warmth of your fireplace.
Test your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.
When there is a problem with your furnace, you want your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors working and ready to alert you and your family. Test your smoke alarms and smoke detectors to make sure they work just in case you need it. Practice what to do if they go off with your family. If at any time, you smell a gas leak, call your gas company for emergency service IMMEDIATELY and get out your home. If the leak involves your furnace, call for an emergency furnace repair and do not go back in the house until an emergency repair to your furnace has been made.
Make sure your furnace is working correctly.
A friend of ours had experience with a malfunctioning furnace recently when she tried to buy a house. During inspection, they found a gas leak that the previous owner was unaware of. If you don’t want to end up in the same boat, schedule an annual check-up to make sure your unit works efficiently and safely. An HVAC technician can also check for cracks, leaks, frayed wires, connections, and any other safety hazards that could ruin your holidays.