In a highly technological world, it is easy to get used to the modern conveniences that most of us have grown up with. Yet, sometimes these technologies fail us, especially throughout the cold winter months. One of the major occurrences is a power outage, leaving your home with no lights or heat. A fireplace serves as a great alternative energy source for when the heat is out. As a homeowner, it is wise to stay informed on how to prepare for instances such as these to keep you and your family safe.
Prepare ahead of time for a power outage to make your fire-building process easier. Stock up on fuel and kindling, keeping it somewhere that is easily accessible for whenever you may need it quickly. Consider investing in a log holder that can be place right by your fireplace, so that you can get started building the fire right away, lessening the amount of time your family is sitting in the cold.
Another smart idea is to keep means of lighting the fire (such as matches, lighters, etc.) in a consistent spot that is easy to access. Being prepared ahead of time will make the entire process easier and will get you heat faster.
Once the Power Shuts Off
Fireplaces offer a great source of energy for heat, especially when alternative options have died out. When your main energy sources first go out, it is a smart idea to close the doors to any rooms that are not being used. That way the heat is not trying to get to unused rooms and the room with inhabitants currently in it will heat up faster.
Once your fire is lit, make sure that you take the proper precautions to keep it going. Have more fuel readily available for whenever it will be needed and update yourself on fire safety precautions.
As always, keep in mind these important safety tips to keep you safe and warm in the case of a power outage.
- Update toxic gas and smoke detectors. When the power is out, rooms often get closed off and people all congregate together. Since ventilation is decreased, it is necessary to ensure that the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are all up-to-code and charged appropriately. Also, try to keep a window somewhere in the room around one inch open, to ensure that fumes do not accumulate.
- Keep one person awake. If the power outage is extending late into the night and people are starting to fall asleep, designate one person to stay up and keep an eye on the fire or designate shifts until the power is back on. When the heat is down, a fire is necessary to keep everyone warm, but it is never a good option to leave it unattended.
- Keep fire extinguishers close. Always be prepared for the possibility of a fire igniting. Keep flammable materials away from the fire and make sure that a fire extinguisher is always within close range and easily accessible.
- Stay informed on emergency procedures. Whoever is in the home at the time of the outage should be aware of what plans are set in place, in the case of an emergency.
Wells & Sons Chimney Service wants to make sure you stay safe during power outages, especially in the dead of winter. If you have any questions about these or other fire safety tips, give us a call.