While many New Year’s resolutions revolve around establishing healthy habits like losing weight and exercising, the start of the new year is also a great time to get your head in the safety game.
When it comes to electrical and natural gas hazards, prevention depends on safe equipment, safe environments, and safe practices.
Resolve to protect your home and business from hazardous situations by following these tips:
Be prepared for a power outage.
Snow and ice often accumulate on power lines, and the added weight may cause lines to snap or break causing outages. Stay prepared by keeping an emergency supply of bottled water, non-perishable food, blankets, a first aid kit, medicine, flash lights, and extra batteries.
Don’t have an emergency kit? Resolve to build one.
Generators are a good source for temporary power during an outage, but before you crank it up, refer to the owner’s manual to confirm proper set up. Also, make sure you use the generator outdoors and away from ventilation, to avoid a dangerous build up carbon monoxide.
Check your batteries
Alarms are a strong second line of defense, but only if they’re working properly. Resolve to periodically check that your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are in peak condition. Change the batteries if they’re more than a year old. Can’t remember? Change them anyway.
Also, check the batteries and operating conditions of your flash lights. Don’t forget the ones in your new emergency kit.
Inspect your fire extinguisher
In an emergency the last thing you want is discover that it that your fire extinguisher isn’t charged and doesn’t work. Resolve to inspect your fire extinguisher once a month. Look for signs of physical damage like dents, as well as leakage and corrosion. Also, check to the pressure gauge to make sure the indicator is in the operating range, and that the pull-pin and seal are still intact.
Appliance tune ups
Maintenance and tune ups not only extend the life of your appliances, they also reduce safety hazards. Have your kitchen, laundry, and HVAC appliances serviced by a licensed professional annually.
Have your electrical system inspected
Consider having the electrical system at your home or business inspected. A professional assessment of all circuits, outlets, switch, and fixtures will ensure that your electrical system is up to code and operating in the safest possible manner. Check the label on the cover of your electrical service panel to determine when the system was last inspected.
Appliances need breathing room. Clear out the areas around your appliances – especially the furnace and water heater.
For more safety tips, check out DTE Energy’s Safety Center.