Nothing better than settling into a warm house while a cold wind blows outside. Though getting & keeping your home heated may create a safety issue if you don’t take the right precautions.
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports that the prime months for home heating fires are December, January and February. In addition, some methods used to heat your home could expose your family to toxic carbon monoxide levels if they are not used correctly.
Follow these tips from Allstate’s insurance blog for heating your home safely when the temperature drops outside.
Before winter rolls in, consider having your furnace inspected by a professional. This may help lower the chances you will run into a heating problem during the cold winter months. The professional will look for various problems, including carbon monoxide leaks. They may also vacuum out the furnace’s vents and check to see if the furnace’s filter needs replacing.
Make sure no furniture is placed in front of your vents so the warm air can flow evenly throughout the room. Finally, changing your air filters on a regular schedule may help to reduce your energy bill because the furnace doesn’t have to work as hard to heat the space.
Before lighting your first fire of the season, consider having your fireplace professionally cleaned and inspected. A technician will inspect the chimney’s interior and exterior, ensure that it doesn’t contain any combustible deposits and isn’t obstructed. During the cleaning, you can also ask the technician to show you how to inspect the chimney in between visits.
When you’re ready to light a fire, be sure to check the fireplace area for anything flammable. The NFPA recommends using a sturdy fireplace screen to stop sparks from flying out of the fire and into the room and keeping anything flammable at least 3 feet away from the fireplace.
According to the NFPA, space heaters cause 43% of home fires. To keep your family and home safe when using a space heater, make sure you are purchasing a space heater with an Underwriter’s Laboratory (UL) label. You may also want to consider looking for a space heater with advanced safety features, including sensors that shut it off in case it overheats or tips over.
Once you get the space heater home, it is important to set it up in the room correctly. It’s recommended that you place the heater on a level surface, out of reach of anything flammable and plug it directly into the power outlet.
Following the tips above can help make sure your home is safely heated all winter long. Make sure that your homeowners or renters insurance policy is up to date so that you’re covered in the event of a home heating fire. Better safe than sorry! Call or stop by today to review your policy.