As you’re getting ready to pull out the sweaters and jackets, take a moment to consider some of the things you should do to make sure your family stays both warm and protected later this year.
- When using supplemental heaters, be sure to use them safely. Keep anything flammable a safe distance from all sides of space heaters, including drapes, furniture, blankets, pillows, newspapers and books. It’s a good idea to educate your children to do the same.
- Here are some things you should never do: Never run cords underneath area rugs. Never fall asleep with an electric blanket on, and make sure its cord and plug are in good shape. Never cover an electric blanket with another blanket. Never use a camp stove or gas oven for heat; although they will generate warmth, they will also generate toxic gas.
- Make sure your electric panel is unobstructed and easily accessed, and the switches and circuits are clearly marked and working. Do a check of the electrical outlets in each room of your house to be make sure they aren’t overloaded, and use appropriately rated power strips or hire an electrician to install more outlets where necessary.
- If you have a fireplace, be sure to have it professionally sweeped before using it for the first time this season. If it has a blower, clean it as well. Make sure the damper and chimney cap are working properly, and that the gasket, glass doors and ash dump are functioning as they should. Make sure you burn only dense, seasoned wood that has been split and stored in a dry place for at least six months.
- Lastly, make sure your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors have fresh batteries, and test both devices to make sure they are working. And then, have a great time enjoying the cooler weather.
More Ways to Help
Brunswick's Warm Homes, Warm Hearts heating assistance program began in 2008. This program gives members in our service territory the opportunity to help keep their neighbors warm during winter by donating funds.