Be Prepared for the Heating Season
Check your gas appliances for safety and reliability
As summer ends, it is a good time to prepare for the heating season and arrange servicing of your natural gas and propane heating equipment. Have work done by a licensed gas contractor registered with the BC Safety Authority.
- Inspect your furnace, hot water boiler, fireplace and other gas appliances. Manuals provided with appliances contain operating and maintenance instructions.
- Confirm that chimneys, vents and combustion air supply ducts are not blocked or corroded.
- Clear obstructions away from gas meters and shut off valves so that they are easy to get to in case of an emergency.
- Check that exterior steel pipes are painted to prevent corrosion. Underground piping to pool heaters, separate garages or other outbuildings should be checked for corrosion and leaks.
- Know the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning and consider the purchase of a carbon monoxide alarm. Position alarms where recommended by the manufacturer. While an alarm may provide an extra measure of protection, they are not a substitute for regular inspection and maintenance of natural gas and propane appliances.
- If you have a baby or toddler, consider purchasing a fireplace safety gate or guard to keep children away from hot fireplace glass and other surfaces.
Natural gas and propane have a sulphur or rotten egg smell. If you think you smell gas, leave the building and then call your gas supplier.
Other Fire Prevention Tips
Cannot remember to change the battery in your smoke alarm?
Buy a lithium battery powered detector. They have non-removable power cells that last for 10 years.
Considering buying a new coffee maker, iron, or other small appliances?
Look for those that have automatic turn-off switches. These units will automatically shut off after a certain period of time.
Do you have a fire extinguisher in your home?
Consider purchasing 5lb fire extinguishers for the Kitchen, furnace room, garage and bedroom areas.
Building a new house or adding an extension?
Consider the installation of a residential sprinkler system. These systems can control or extinguish fires before they spread and provide valuable escape time. Fire sprinkler systems cost about the same as carpeting your home.
Refuelling your car safely?
When the automatic nozzle shuts off, do not top off your tank. If you suspect a fire in the engine compartment, do NOT open the hood. This action will provide oxygen to the fire and may increase its size and intensity. Move away from the vehicle, call 911 and never compromise your personal safety.
Filling portable gas tanks?
Never fill portable gas tanks while in pickup truck box with a liner. Static electricity is built up when filling these containers and they are not grounded. Always place the portable container on the ground and fill properly. Never use a pump handle latch-open device when filling portable containers.
Have a fire safety question?
Call the Public fire Education division of the Otter Point Volunteer Fire Department at 642 6211.
Check out these web sites for more home safety tips,
techniques and product information