Tips to Prepare Yourself for the Holidays & Winter!
December 6, 2013
Are you prepared to be safe over the holidays and the long winter season? We have compiled some great tips for you to follow to be sure your apartment says “Safety First!”
1. Merry and Bright: Carefully inspect holiday light strings each year and discard any with frayed cords, cracked lamp holders, or loose connections. When replacing bulbs, unplug the light string and be sure to match voltage and wattage to the original bulb.
2. Lights Out: Always turn off indoor and outdoor holiday lights when you leave the house unattended or when going to bed.
3. Fresh Is Best: Try to purchase a freshly cut tree, as they are more resistant to ignition. Keep your Christmas tree watered and away from open candles.
4. Timing Is Everything: Use an outdoor timer certified by CSA International to switch lights on and off. Lights should be turned on after 7 p.m. to avoid the electricity rush hour, and should be set to turn off right around your bedtime. For additional safety, never connect more than one extension cord together; instead use a single cord that is long enough to reach the outlet without stretching, but not so long that it can get easily tangled.
5. The Great Outdoors: When hanging outdoor lights, keep electrical connectors off the ground and away from metal rain gutters. Use insulated tape or plastic clips instead of metal nails or tacks to hold them in place.
6. Fireplace Safety: Do not use your gas fireplace if the glass panel is removed, cracked, or broken, and only allow a qualified service person to replace fireplace parts. Do not leave your fireplace on when you are not home or when you go to bed, and never place anything over the glass or up against it. The glass gets hot and can easily melt or burn items that come in contact with it.
7. Sound the Alarm: Test your smoke alarms monthly to make sure they work, and be sure to install smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms on every level of your home — especially near sleeping areas. If your alarm needs a new battery, please contact your manager.
8. Filter-Friendly Furnace: To help prevent CO hazards in your home, have a qualified heating contractor perform a yearly maintenance check of your furnace and venting system, and clean or replace your furnace filter frequently during the heating seasons.
9. Clean the Clutter: Do not store combustible materials such as gasoline, propane, paper, chemicals, paint, rags, and cleaning products near your gas furnace. Gasoline or propane cylinders should be stored outside the home. Also, do not clutter your furnace area with personal items, as this can cause the unit not to run efficiently. The furnace closet should not be used as a storage area.
10. More Cash in Your Pocket: If you will be gone for the holiday season or away on a warm vacation over the winter, be sure you turn your thermostat down so you save money on your gas bill, and unplug as many appliances as you can. This will help to reduce your electric bill a little bit and reduce fire hazards in your apartment.