The new year is a time for traditions. Whether you are making new resolutions, are boxing up the old and displaying all the new stuff you got this holiday season, or are stopping the keyholes to keep out those mischievous new years elves, it’s all about refreshing your home in time for the new year. But while a lot of people might start with those outdated throw pillows, you should actually be starting with the less noticeable items in your home – like the smoke detector, CO detector, and the furnace filters.
Smoke Detector Safety
You need to test your smoke detector and change the batteries in it at least once a year. Why? Because, according to the Canadian Safety Council, having a smoke detector that doesn’t work is actually worse than not having one at all. It is a common circumstance that investigations into home fire fatalities will reveal that a smoke alarm did not sound. The batteries may have been dead, taken out, or the alarm may have been disconnected. Whatever the reason, it is a known fact that smoke by itself is not enough to wake you up if a fire starts at night, and often, the victims of fatal fires never woke up at all.
The first thing you should do to ring in the new year is ring your fire alarm. Test it to make sure it is working, change the batteries to make sure they are there and fully charged, and review your manufacturers guidelines to see if you are actually due for a new smoke detector this year. This is also a good time to review the regulations for installing smoke detectors to ensure you have one in each of the places you should have one installed. Only a working fire alarm can save your life, so this should be your first décor item of the new year.
Your CO detector needs to be checked regularly – so what better time to test it than at new years? It’s a good way to ensure your home stays safe from carbon monoxide poisoning for another year. Plus, new years is about making noise, right? Why pay for fancy noisemakers when you can use your CO detector instead? Beyond your annual test to make sure it is working properly, the maintenance you will need to do depends on what type of CO detector you have. You may need to check the wiring on it or change the batteries, but your best bet is always to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines on when the batteries need to be changed and when the whole system needs to be replaced.
While you are doing that, you should check with your government regulations to make sure you have your CO detector installed correctly and in the right place in your home to keep you safe. You can read about the Government of Canada’s safety requirements here.
Change your filters
It’s out with the old year and in with the new – so why are you bringing all that old dust with you? Now is the perfect time to change your furnace filters. This will help you keep your house blowing clean and fresh air – and it will prevent a clogged filter from starting a furnace fire. While you are at it, you should make sure your dryer vents are clean, too. Dryer lint is highly flammable and can easily ignite with the amount of heat that is being moved through.
Let’s ring in the new year with fireworks – not fire hazards. Make sure you check these items so you can keep your self, your home, and your loved ones safe in the new year.