Assuring your home safety represents an ongoing concern for families, and this checklist can help you go through your home, making simple changes that will give you peace of mind. The primary threats around the home include electrical, chemical, and fire hazards, all of which you can manage.
Electrical Avoid using cube plugs or extension cords that have multiple outlets. Power strips or surge protectors are safer. Too many devices plugged into an outlet can overheat the wires and are a major electrical hazard. Never run electrical cords under rugs. Walking over them causes the insulation to fray, which can expose the wires, causing an electrical short. Don’t use an appliance that smokes, sparks, or overheats. Either have the appliance repaired or replaced it. Avoid using a “cheater” plug for a three-pronged cord. You can get a shock if a wire comes loose.
Chemical Keep all paints, solvents, and other flammable materials stored tightly in cans. Keep them in a detached garage or storage building if available. Store pesticides and yard chemicals according to the package directions. Don’t use explosive aerosols indoors when the furnace is running. When it’s unavoidable, turn off the furnace and open a window until the air has cleared. Oily rags can start fires. Soak them in water before discarding them. Avoid mixing different cleaning chemicals. Some create toxic gases, such as when combining ammonia and bleach, which creates highly caustic hydrochloric acid.
Fires Check the batteries for smoke detectors several times a year and carbon monoxide (CO) detectors monthly for maximum home safety. CO detectors go through batteries faster than smoke detectors. If you use a fireplace frequently, have the chimney professionally cleaned annually to avoid chimney fires. Change the air filter for your furnace monthly to reduce the hazards associated with a combustion furnace, such as a cracked heat exchanger, which can pose fire and CO hazards.
Professional annual maintenance also helps avoid problems with the heat exchanger and other parts of the heating system. If you would like more information about home safety and your HVAC equipment, please contact us at Pipe Works Services We’ve provided superior HVAC and plumbing services for northern New Jersey since 1988. Our goal is to help educate our customers in Chatham, NJ, and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).