Winter weather is here, and that means fireplaces are lit, heaters are running, and warm meals are cooking. To help ensure our community members enjoy a safe winter season, Liberty has some important reminders for around the home.
Below are some tips to stay safe during the winter months:
- Between meals, make sure all kitchen equipment – mainly your stove and oven – is turned off. Kitchen equipment should never be used for heating.
- Avoid using portable fuel gas heaters, such as propane or kerosene, indoors. Additionally, electric heaters should have a UL Tag on the unit or cord.
- Keep anything that can catch on fire away from cooking equipment – like oven mitts, paper or plastic bags, towels, etc. – and avoid loose clothing while cooking.
- Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors throughout your home, especially in the kitchen and near bedrooms, and set a reminder at least twice each year to test and/or replace the batteries.
- Always use a safety screen in the fireplace.
- Each year, have a licensed heating contractor inspect your chimneys and flue pipes for safe operation.
- Ensure wood or pellet stoves are installed and vented properly, inspected regularly, and only burn natural wood (avoid burning pressure-treated or painted wood or construction debris).
- Practice care if using candles. Make sure to extinguish them when not in use, place them on a non-flammable surface, keep them away from any other objects and out of reach of children and pets. Or consider flameless alternatives.
- Keep a fire extinguisher rated for home use mounted near the exit doors, not near a hazard such as a stove. Make sure it has not expired and everyone in the household knows how to use it.
- Layer up! In the extreme cold, it’s best to dress in layers with a wind-resistant outer layer.
- Have an emergency kit ready for inclement weather. Non-perishable food items, a manual can opener, hand sanitizer, baby wipes, flashlights, a wind-up or battery-powered radio, batteries, unscented candles, matches, duct tape, a first aid kit, and sleeping bags are all good items to include.
- Keep gas meters clear of ice and snow, using a broom or brush. Do not use a shovel or any other sharp object, and never pour hot water on natural gas equipment to melt ice.
- If you smell rotten eggs, leave and call Liberty at 1-855-327-7758 or 911.