Tips on home-heating safety
SUMMIT COUNTY – Over the past few weeks, temperatures have dropped well below the zero degree mark. Homeowners are turning up their thermostats and local fire districts have been responding to broken pipes in buildings throughout the county. Below are some tips to keep your home and business safe and warm this winter season.• Test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors monthly and replace the batteries, as necessary, to ensure proper working order.• Check any fire sprinkler systems containing antifreeze to make certain the mixture of anti-freeze to water is correct.• Ensure thermostats are set properly to prevent freeze-ups of fire sprinkler systems or domestic water, especially in dwellings that are second homes, seasonally occupied or vacant. Recommended temperature is 60 degrees.• Ensure your fireplace has a sturdy mesh screen to prevent sparks from flying into the room and always allow ashes to cool before disposing in a metal container.• Have your chimney cleaned annually to prevent soot and creosote build-up.• Learn how to shut off your water valves in the event you have a pipe burst.• Service water heaters, fireplaces and furnaces in advance of the severe cold to ensure adequate heat provision and to ensure safe operation.• Keep or maintain a 36-inch (3 foot) clearance between space heaters and electric baseboard heaters and anything that can burn such as furniture, drapes, etc.• Turn off portable space heaters when you leave the room or go to bed.• Check heating units and appliances in mechanical closets, sprinkler control valve rooms and crawl spaces to make sure these heaters are both “on” and working correctly.• As we move further into the snow season, keep an eye on roof ice dam and snow build-up. Falling ice dams and snow are a significant source of injuries and fire and pose a great risk to gas and electric lines. Have a contractor remove ice and snow as storms pass, if necessary.• Keep hydrants clear of snow and accessible in case of an emergency.• Keep the garage door shut to prevent against unnecessary heat loss.• Ensure your home’s address is visible from the road by repainting with contrasting or reflective paint and clear away branches and/or snow blocking visibility.”As always, please feel free to contact your local fire department with any questions or if you would like us to conduct a free home safety check,” said Red, White & Blue Fire Captain Kim Scott.
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