Winter is poised to strike the Northern hemisphere, bringing with it colder temperatures, especially above the Snow Belt. For residents of Connecticut and the rest of the northeastern United States, keeping warm is important. Thankfully, there are several methods to stay warm during the winter months including kerosene heaters, fireplaces and pellet stoves and backup generators to keep the electricity flowing for electric heat. However, there are things that need to be done to keep you and your family safe from any mishaps.
Fireplaces and Pellet Stove Safety
There’s nothing quite like the crackling noise of a fire roaring in an open fireplace or the subdued popping sound of a Ben Franklin stove as it pours heat into your home. But before you fire your stove or fireplace up for the season, you need to do a basic inspection of the chimney. If you have a traditional chimney, look for any loose bricks or mortar. Additionally, you should climb up on the roof and look at the metal flashing where the roof and chimney meet.
If you see any problems or you aren’t sure, this is the time to get a professional to take a look. Make sure to look locally, as they will know more about local conditions and building codes. For example, if you live in New Groton, you should search for a local Connecticut masonry & chimney repairs specialist. They can also inspect the interior of your chimney and recommend if you need it cleaned of creosote and buildup to reduce the danger of chimney fires. Or you may choose the best electric fireplace and just skip all those hastle, just plug it into a 22ov outlet and warm yourself in a while.
A popular option for ensuring that your heat will always be there when you need it is to get a backup generator. If you live in an area where power outages are frequent, having a generator can literally be a lifesaver. Backup generators come in multiple sizes with different ratings depending on the needs of your home. Smaller ones are able to provide power to one or two separate circuit breakers while some larger ones can power entire small homes.
Whichever is best for your needs, you have to ensure that you follow proper maintenance for your generator. For example, if you store it somewhere without adequate ventilation, you open yourself and your family to carbon monoxide poisoning. Additionally, make sure that if you have a supply of fuel for your generator, it is stored safely away from your home to reduce the possibility of fires.
Being Safe with Kerosene Heaters
Kerosene heaters are a popular backup for heating during the winter because of how inexpensive fuel-grade kerosene is. Unfortunately, there are a lot of safety concerns that need to be observed if you choose to go this route. Some of the more common dangers of using a kerosene heater include asphyxiation, fire, or burns from coming into contact with the outside of the heater while it is running. Thankfully, with some adherence to safety guidelines, you can virtually eliminate these dangers.
When you have a kerosene heater, you should still perform maintenance on the unit to keep it in peak operating condition. The best times to perform thorough checkups on your kerosene heater are just before you store it for the spring and just after you take it out of storage in the fall. Checking the fuel tank, wicks, and emergency shut off systems are just the start. Make sure to consult your owner’s manual for the complete maintenance list.