- Have furnaces, wood stoves and chimneys cleaned and inspected by qualified personnel before the heating season begins.
- If you have frozen pipes, do not attempt to thaw them with a torch or open flame.
- Make sure there are operating smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms throughout your home, and develop a family escape plan.
- Keep the area around the furnace and hot water heater free of clutter.
- If the pilot light on your furnace or water heater goes out, relight it carefully, following the manufacturer's instructions, or have a qualified person relight it.
- Clean lint from your dryer before each load.
- If a fuse or breaker blows, find the cause.
- Never use an open flame (i.e. lighted match, lighter, or candle) to illuminate a dark area such as a closet.
- Discard trash regularly so that it does not accumulate.
- If using a fireplace, burn only small loads of wood or follow instructions when using artificial logs. Use a metal fireplace screen or tempered glass door enclosure. Be sure the fire goes out before going to bed or leaving the home. Never burn newspapers or gift wrappings in the fireplace; they create high, hot flames that can start a chimney fire.
- Remember, when the holidays arrive - fire never takes a holiday.
- Use care when using candles. Keep them away from other flammables. Place candles where they cannot be knocked over or reached by children and pets.
- If you purchase a live tree, cut off about two inches of the trunk to expose fresh wood for better absorption of water. Keep the tree stored outside the house until you are ready to decorate. Keep it watered. Check out your lights before placing them on a tree or around your house. Do not overload outlets with excessive extension cord use.