While in the midst of the coldest months of the year, it’s important that we don’t leave safety to chance. As Canadians, we may decide to spend more time indoors in the winter (especially this year), so it’s important we remember to be safe and smart around the home - inside and out.
And yes, even though Valentine’s Day has passed, it is not too late to show some love to your home or even to your most used household appliances.
So, like a fine wine with dinner, we’ve paired some of our favourite home safety tips with some of our favourite Valentine’s songs to get you in the mood to weather a power outage or to do a little safety housework.
- If you have a power outage, turn off all electrical equipment that was in use when the power went out, particularly stoves. Also, maybe light some candles for a little ambiance. Pairs well with “XO” by Beyoncé.
- If you use an electric space heater, never leave it unattended or left on when you leave the house or go to sleep. Also be sure that it is at least three feet away from anything flammable, like curtains. Pairs well with “Hot in Herre” by Nelly.
- If you have an electric garage door opener, know where the manual release lever is located and how to operate it so you (or your car) don’t get trapped inside your garage during a power outage. Pairs well with “Unchained Melody” by the Righteous Brothers.
- If you use a generator, connect the items you want to use directly to the generator outlets. Never connect a generator to your home’s electrical system. Generators also require proper ventilation and should not be used inside your home or garage. Pairs well with “Afterglow” by Ed Sheeran.
- Ensure you have working fire alarms on every floor of your home. Consider installing additional ones in every bedroom. Test them at least once a year. Pairs well with “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” by Aerosmith.
- Check that your home’s outdoor exhaust vents are clear of snow and ice. This prevents gases from your furnace, fireplace and water heater from being trapped in your house, and prevents the accumulation of carbon monoxide. Pairs well with “I Melt with You” by Modern English.
- Remember to regularly check your furnace filters as they will need to be replaced more often in the winter. This will improve air quality, keep your heating system working at optimal performance and save you energy in the long run. Pairs well with “Je l’aime a mourir” by Francis Cabrel.
- There’s nothing like a cozy fire on a winter’s night, so keep your fireplace clean for safety and better airflow. To keep the cold weather out, be sure to close the damper in your fireplace when it’s not in use. Pairs well with “I’m on Fire” by Bruce Springsteen.
- If you notice more dust in your home during the winter, it might be time to clean your air vents; particularly your dryer vent, and your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans. You’ll cut down on dust and other air contaminants. Speaking of dust, maybe give your baseboard heaters a dusting for safety and increased energy efficiency. Pairs well with “Wishin’ and Hopin’” by Dusty Springfield.
- Being a good neighbour never goes out of style, especially if there’s a power outage on a cold winter’s night. If you have an older neighbour and the power has been out for a while, check on them to ensure they are safe and warm. February is known as the month of love for a reason. Pairs well with “The Way We Were” by Barbra Streisand.
Finally, celebrate all the love you’ve shown your house this winter with Etta James’ “At Last” - because, at last, you’re all done!