Chestnuts roasting on an open fire… During the time when Jack Frost is nipping at your nose, it feels great to be warm. But before you light an open fire in your house or turn up the thermostat you should take a few safety precautions to avoid hazards.

A good start is to make sure that you have fresh batteries in your fire alarms. Fire alarms, as simple as they might be, can mean life or death when you are heating your home. Here are some other places you should look before heating up the house in the winter:

Furnace

  • Make sure it is inspected annually before heating your home.
  • Make sure all gauges are working properly.
  • Check and replace filters.
  • Move any items away from the furnace.
  • Place a carbon monoxide detector on each level and/or living area of your home.

Fireplace

  • Make sure that your chimney is clean. This should be done annually.
  • Remember to open the flue; otherwise smoke will fill your house quickly.
  • Make sure to clear all items from your roof.

Radiator

  • Make sure there is no furniture around the radiator.
  • Make sure that children are kept away from the radiator to prevent burns.
  • Check the insulation around the pipe that connects to your radiator. If it is becoming worn, it needs to be replaced.

Using these safety tips, your whole family can have a warm winter season without concern for dangers or accidentally starting a fire while heating your home.