Fire safety in the winter

Fireplace Safety Tips

Nothing is quite as cozy as curling up in front of a crackling fire when it’s cold and blustery outside. Wood and gas fireplaces are popular features in home purchasing and are often on a homeowner’s wish list. With a few easy common sense tips, you can enjoy your fireplace and stay safe at the same time.

• Although it’s tempting to dispose of paper products, such as newspaper or gift wrapping, in the fire, paper burns very quickly and can push the heat limits of your fireplace. It’s best to save these items for the blue bin and use only seasoned, dried wood in your fireplace. Also avoid any pressure-treated wood—burning this wood can release toxic fumes into your home.

• Keep all flammable items far away – at least a metre – from your fireplace while you have a fire burning. (In fact, keep flammables away from all open flames, like candles, and away from portable heaters too!)

• Keep a sturdy screen or consider a glass insert for your fireplace to protect your family and home from sparks.

• Keep your fireplace and chimney clean. Sweep away ashes after each use and place them in a fireproof container. Have your chimney cleaned and inspected each year too.
With these easy measures, you can cozy up to a fire, confident that you have kept your home and family safe and warm.

Take Care of Your Furnace

Take Care of Your Furnace

Your furnace works hard over the winter, here are some tips to make sure it stays in working order so you don’t run into any problems and have to pay more money to repair it down the line.
Make sure your furnace filter is clean. The filter is meant to help keep the air circulating through the furnace. Over time, dust can accumulate and cause the filter to get blocked. Make sure to keep an eye on your furnace’s filter and if you notice it collecting a lot of dust, it’s time to replace the filter.

Keeping the area around the furnace clear is very important. Having the area clear will help the air circulate more freely and help your furnace last longer. Most furnaces are in the basement, where most people tend to store their extra belongings so remember, you should have 3 to 5 feet of space cleared around your furnace.

Taking small steps to keeping your house warm can also help your furnace. If you’re looking to redecorate this season, getting curtains, rugs, and carpets are all ways to prevent drafts from going through your house and will make the space feel (and look!) warmer. However, make sure that if you are redecorating your house, the registers for your furnace aren’t covered by any furniture or decorations because that will halt the air circulation process and will damage your furnace over time.

Consider having your furnace checked once a year, as there are many benefits to keeping on top of your furnace. You’ll be able to catch small issues before they turn into large issues. You’ll have peace of mind knowing that it’s been checked and any issues have been prevented. And lastly, you’ll save money on repairs – especially in winter when your furnace is working hard and you need it the most!