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Beat Winter’s Silent Killers

Winter and cold weather means that our furnaces are in full use, fireplaces crackle with high flames, and candles light up a cozy long evening.

We all love the warmth and warm glow of a heated home in winter. Our windows and doors are closed tight and we seem to spend more time indoors. Lurking amongst this wonderful warmth is the risk of disaster. Following some simple indoor winter safety tips, you can avoid these silent killers and ensure you and your family have a safe and warm winter.

Fuel Burning Appliances

Before the cold weather sets in, have a qualified technician inspect and clean fuel-burning appliances, the furnace, vent pipes and chimney flues to ensure they are in good working order.

Filters on your furnace need to be kept clean and if you suspect something isn’t working, make sure you call in a repair and maintenance company.

Regularly check and clean the clothes dryer ductwork, filters, and check the outside vent cover for blockages such as lint, snow, or overgrown plants.

Fireplaces

You may not need to clean a wood burning fireplace every year, but make sure you have it inspected to make sure there aren’t any issues. Birds’nests, twigs and old mortar in chimneys can block proper ventilation and lead to a build-up of carbon monoxide gas in the home. And if you can’t remember if your fireplace was ever cleaned, it’s probably time to make an appointment!

Carbon Monoxide

You cannot smell carbon monoxide gas so install at least one carbon monoxide detector on every level of your home, especially outside bedrooms. If your detectors are battery-operated, check the batteries when you change the clocks at daylight savings.

If the detector sounds, you and all members of your household should leave your home immediately and from outside the home call 911.

Candles

Candles are beautiful but you have to be careful.

  • Never leave lighted candles in a room once you’ve left the room, and always keep candles out of reach of children and pets.
  • Make sure all candles are set in solid bases (not thin glass that can break), and sit on proper bases that are insulated.
  • Place in open areas that aren’t near curtains, plants, or anything that can catch on fire.