To prepare for the upcoming major winter storm, here are 10 simple home safety tips that can keep you and your home safe.
- Make sure all appliances and heating equipment, such as a furnace, water heater or stove, are inspected and operating properly, and operate all pieces of equipment according to the manufacturer's instructions.
- Never use stoves, ovens or outdoor grills as a source of heat.
- Provide adequate ventilation when using fireplaces or unvented space heaters.
- If you are using a fireplace, use a glass or metal fire screen large enough to catch sparks and rolling logs.
- If you are using a space heater, place it on a level, hard surface and keep anything flammable at least three feet away from things such as paper, clothing, bedding, curtains or rugs.
- Turn off space heaters and make sure fireplace embers are out before leaving the room or going to bed. Using secondary heating sources, such as space heaters, can increase the chance of carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Protect your pipes - run water, even at a trickle, to help prevent your pipes from freezing. Open the kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Keep the garage doors closed if there are water lines in the garage. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals out of the reach of children.
- Check your carbon monoxide detectors and smoke detectors to ensure they are operating properly.
- Keep natural gas meters clear of snow and ice to prevent damage and provide easy access should maintenance be needed. Remove snow from the meter with hands or a broom. Never use a shovel, or kick or hit the meter to break away snow or ice. If the meter is encased in ice, contact Columbia for assistance.
- If you smell the “rotten egg” odor of natural gas, whether inside your home or outside, evacuate to a safe location immediately and call 911. Do not operate anything that could cause a spark, including lights, cell phones, flashlights, or appliances. Don't open the windows and doors in an attempt to ventilate. Don't try to find the leak yourself or operate pipeline valves. Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania’s emergency number is 1-888-460-4332.
For more information about staying safe, visit www.ColumbiaGasPA.com
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