Home Heating Safety Tips for Winter
Home heating prices have been getting a lot of column inches lately, with recession fears on the rise and energy rates far from cheap. But it’s made some Georgia locals get creative with their home power set-up. With many of us welcoming log burners and open fireplaces back on the menu this winter, it’s high time for a good old-fashioned home heating safety PSA. To wit, here’s some of the best do’s and don’ts to make sure you’re staying safe whilst you’re staying warm this season…
Locate Your Natural Gas Shut-Off Valve!
And practice using it, too! Knowing where to find it can be tricky enough. Homes with gas furnaces are required to have shut off valves on the gas lines that lead to the furnace. The same applies for natural gas water heaters, dryers, and stoves. If you are a bit fuzzy on the details, do yourself a favor and go check now. The main shut off valve to your home is usually located next to your natural gas meter. Remember – these things can be stiff to move. So if you need a wrench to help you turn it, make sure there’s always one nearby. Hey, good thing you checked in advance, huh?
If you smell rotten Eggs – get out!
If you think it’s weird that natural gas smells like rotten eggs, well you’d be right. It ain’t natural. In fact, natural gas is naturally odorless! They lace it with mercaptan to give it that alarming pong, making it easier for us all to detect leaks.
So if you catch a whiff of past-their-prime eggs, take action immediately! Don’t try to find the leak. Avoid using any source of ignition (like using your mobile phone, or, duh, smoking). Just get outside to some fresh air, and call AGL ASAP.
Never Leave a Fire Unguarded!
If you’ve got a fire going in your fireplace, don’t leave alone. Open flames have the speed and gymnastic talent of an Olympic medalist, and they’ll spread like, well, like wildfire, given the chance. So fully snuff out fires when you leave the house or go to bed. And if you’re in a different room, always put up a fire guard. Especially if your wood has high moisture or sap content, as these ones will really crackle and pop when burning.
Maintain your Chimney for Peak Home Heating Safety!
Make sure you’re getting it swept at least once a year – twice, ideally. Victorian child labor policies may have given it a bad name, but chimney sweeping truly is the best way to scour off all the toxic residue that accumulates from the smoke your fire produces. Not only can this residue prove potentially poisonous, it’s also highly flammable! And let’s just say, chimney fires rarely stick to just the chimney…
For Goodness Sake Get a Fire Extinguisher
Dumping a bucket of cold water on an over-enthusiastic fire might feel the most instinctive thing to do. But it’s likely to produce heavy and unpleasant smoke that’ll blow right back into your home. Instead, make sure you’ve invested in a domestic fire extinguisher that you keep in the room somewhere nearby.
Act on These Home Heating Safety Reminders Today!
It’s no bad idea to supplement your home heating supply with some good ol’ fashioned log burners. But stay alert, and stay prepared! Make sure you have the tools to manage an emergency, and the foresight to stop that emergency happening in the first place. So, folks, here endeth the Georgia home heating safety reminder sermon. But keep tabs on us for more home energy tips at www.GeorgiaGasSavings.com!