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Home Safety During This Cold Spell

Updated: Feb 13, 2021

Good afternoon,

Seeing how we will be experiencing extremely cold weather over the next week, I thought it would be a good time to remind everyone of a few home safety tips related to the extreme temperatures. I would hate to see any of you have to deal with the hassle or expense of repairing your home, and the associated loss of availability to work!

Heating Related Tips

If you plan to use a wood stove, fireplace, or space heater, be extremely careful. Remember these safety tips:

  • Turning on the stove for heat is not safe.

  • Use electric space heaters with automatic shut-off switches and non-glowing elements. Make sure to keep them away from any flammable materials, like curtains or blankets.

  • Use fireplaces, wood stoves, or other combustion heaters only if they are properly vented to the outside and do not leak gas from the flue or exhaust into the indoor air space.

  • Some gas-fueled heaters, such as vent-less gas fireplaces, require some ventilation. Otherwise, if you don’t need extra ventilation, keep doors and windows shut.

  • Do not burn paper in a fireplace.

  • Keep heat sources, like space heaters, at least 3 feet away from drapes, furniture, or bedding, and never cover your space heater.

  • Never place a space heater on top of furniture or near water.

  • Make sure that the cord of an electric space heater is not a tripping hazard, but do not run the cord under carpets or rugs.

  • Avoid using extension cords to plug in your space heater.

Power Related Tips

If there is a power failure:

  • Use battery-powered flashlights or lanterns rather than candles, if possible. Candles can lead to house fires.. If you do use candles, never leave lit candles unattended.

  • Use generators and other appliances safely.

  • Generators should be located at least 20 feet from any window, door, or vent.

  • Never use generators, gas or charcoal grills, camp stoves, or similar devices inside your home, in basements, in garages, or near windows. The fumes are deadly.

  • Plug in appliances to the generator using individual heavy-duty, outdoor-rated extension cords.

  • Do not store gasoline indoors where the fumes could ignite.

Water Related Tips

Extreme cold can cause water pipes in your home to freeze and sometimes rupture or break. When you are expecting very cold or freezing temperatures:

  • Know where your water shutoff valve is located.

  • Leave all water taps slightly open so they drip continuously.

  • Keep the temperature inside your home warm.

  • Allow heated air to reach pipes. For example, open cabinet doors beneath the kitchen and bathroom sinks.

  • If your pipes do freeze, try thawing the pipes slowly with warm air from an electric hair dryer or space heater.

  • Never attempt to thaw a pipe using an open flame, such as a propane torch, or using electric welding equipment. This can not only damage the pipe, but it can also start a fire.

Hopefully, we can get through this without too much trouble. Stay safe and stay warm!

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John Gardner
John Gardner
Feb 12, 2021

1 degree on Tuesday morning! Wooohooo!

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