Tips for heating your home safely

While keeping your family warm is a priority, PhoneWatch is reminding everyone to put safety first and not to take unnecessary risks when heating your home and lighting fires.

The company, Ireland’s largest provider of monitored fire and carbon monoxide alarms, has issued a series of tips to keep you and your loved ones both warm and safe.

Check your alarms: Every home should be fitted with both smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. As you plan to light your fire and turn up the dial on your thermostat, make sure to test each alarm, and always have some spare batteries on hand.

Portable heaters: Portable electric heaters are an excellent appliance for providing additional heat to any room. These should be left at least one meter from anything flammable, including curtains. Never cover a portable heater, and always turn them off before leaving the room.

Fire place: Only use appropriate fuels to light your fire. Make sure you have a sturdy fire guard to avoid sparks and to keep children from danger. Do not put the ashes from your fire place into a bin until they are fully cooled (this could take 48 hours or more ), or use a metal bucket.

Vents and flues: In colder weather, it can be tempting to block up room vents to prevent drafts. Vents are essential to ventilate rooms properly, so never block them up.

Bed time: Before going to bed, double check that all portable heaters are unplugged and that your fire place is no longer flaming.

Keep costs down: During the cold snap there are plenty of cost effective ways you can keep your home cozy. Roll up towels and place them under your front door to prevent draughts. Keep the curtains open in south facing rooms to allow natural heat from sunlight, but close curtains elsewhere.

Appliances: Only ever use household appliances for the purpose they are intended. For example, never attempt to heat a room using a cooker.

For more information on keeping your home safe and secure visit www.PhoneWatch.ie

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