It is important to follow proper maintenance and operation procedures when using items that can be fire hazards in your home. Below is a list of things you should consider to promote safety in your home.
- Have the chimney inspected annually to ensure it is clear of obstructions and creosote.
- Install a cap and/or spark arrestor at the top of the chimney to prevent debris or animals from blocking the chimney.
- Make sure the indoor area around the fireplace is clear of furniture, books, papers or other flammable material. (2 feet is a good rule)
- Use a fire screen to prevent embers from jumping out.
- Burn dry hardwoods to prevent excess creosote build-up.
- Don’t close the damper until the fire is completely out.
- Never empty the ashes into a container immediately after a fire is extinguished.
- Have a specialist perform routine maintenance and service as necessary.
- Adjust the millivolt output.
- Clean and adjust the glowing embers and logs.
- Clean the fan and related air circulation passages.
- Ensure the vents are unobstructed and able to do their job.
- Install a carbon monoxide detector if you don’t have one.
- Do not plug in additional power strips to the first one (known as “daisy chaining”).
- Use UL-or ELT-listed surge protectors and power strips.
- Only plug one strip into a duplex (two outlet) wall outlet.
- Unplug the strip with the appliance it powers when not in use.
- Do not use a power strip to plug in equipment with heating elements, such as a hotplate, hot glue gun, coffee pot, or toaster.
- Keep lint trap and ducts clean! An indicator of lint and dust blockage can include clothes that are still damp or hotter than usual after a cycle is done. Another sign that something is wrong is if clothes are taking longer than usual to dry.
- Depending on use, recommended cleaning is every 6 to 12 months. Many heating and air conditioning contractors will provide this service.
- Improper dryer ventilation set up or installation can lead to carbon monoxide poisonings. Install a carbon monoxide detector if you don’t already have one.