Extreme cold weather is a trying time for you, your family, and your home. In low temperatures, it becomes very tempting to do everything in your power to heat up the house. However, many of these practices may be dangerous. Let’s take a look at some cold weather safety tips that will help you stay warm and safe at the same time.
How to Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
According to statistics, approximately 1, 000 lives are lost each year in the United States to this silent killer that we call carbon monoxide poisoning. Therefore, you are advised not to take this matter lightly. Here are some safe practices that will help you prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Install a carbon monoxide detector
- Never run generators indoors
- Never use a gas stove or oven to heat your home
- Never bring charcoal or gas grills indoors
This is by far the fastest and surest way to prevent a potential case of carbon monoxide poisoning. You have a choice of installing one or several detectors in your house, although several are always the better option. To put it simply, they work just like a smoke detector. When they sense carbon monoxide has been released into the air, they will make a sound to let you know.
The reason is quite simple to understand. Generators emit carbon monoxide when they are working. Therefore, if you use them in the house, which is a closed space, you run the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Always use your generators outside, where the carbon monoxide can be released safely.
If not attended at all times, gas stoves or ovens can easily go out. Or they could burn improperly. When that happens, only the flame gets extinguished, but the gas continues to be released. This is what leads to carbon monoxide poisoning. Please do not heat your home using an oven.
The reason why you should not use a gas grill inside is the same as why you should not heat your house using an oven. If left unattended, the flame could die but the gas could still come through, poisoning the air.
When it comes to charcoal grills, they are never, under any circumstance to be used inside, even if you have opened the doors and windows. Burning charcoal produces copious amounts of CO until you extinguish it completely.
But most people don’t do that. After they are done using the grill, they simply let the charcoal burn away on its own. While that is fine outdoors, inside the house, the levels of CO will rise very quickly.
How to Use a Space Heater
Electric space heaters can save you some money on your bills as long as you use them in small spaces and only to warm up the area in your vicinity. However, you need to pay special attention to the way in which you use a space heater to make sure you are safe at all times.
Always place the space heater on a level area or a hard surface. Make sure that your children or pets cannot reach them. Place all other flammable objects such as curtains, bedding or clothing at least three feet away from the space heater. Do not use the space heater in the bathroom.
How to Use Wood-burning Stoves, Fireplaces and Heaters Safely
Here are the steps you need to take to make this winter season as safe as possible for you and your family.
- Always keep a screen around an open flame
- Never use gasoline to start your fireplace
- Do not close the damper when the ashes are hot
Remember that open flames give out sparks that will ignite clothing, curtains, and rugs. The best thing to do is cover the open flame with a screen that will prevent any sparks or bits of embers from landing on fabrics and igniting them.
Keep your pets and children away from any open flames you have in your house, such as a fireplace or a fire pit. Keep the screen on at all times so that the sparks don’t fly off and land on them.
Gasoline or any type of accelerant, for that matter, is never a good idea for starting a fire inside your house. Gasoline in itself is highly flammable but so are its fumes, something that many homeowners usually forget.
After you have poured the gasoline onto the wood, the fumes still linger in the air. When you strike a match and bring it close to the fireplace, the fumes can ignite and explode. The flames will leap from there to the person trying to start the fire and all the objects around them.
Closing the damper while the ashes have not gone cold yet will simply reignite the fire. The carbon monoxide, which is a highly toxic gas, will be forced inside the house, often without you realizing it. Always follow the instructions you are given. Or, better yet, call a professional to help you out.
The team at SuperTech HVAC is always here for you. If you have any more questions about cold weather safety tips or how to heat up your house in winter, we will be more than happy to answer them for you. If not, you can always call us today and schedule a maintenance visit just to make sure you and your family are safe this winter.