Before it gets too cold outside

  • Replace your old electric space heaters with newer models that feature automatic shut-off switches and non-glowing heating elements. And keep them at least three feet away from flammable fabrics, like curtains and sofa covers.
  • Check around windows, doors and electrical outlets for air leaks, and around wall penetrations for cables and phone lines, where cold air can sneak into the house. Caulk holes and replace worn-out weather-stripping. Do this on the inside and outside of the house.
  • Change the batteries in your carbon monoxide detectors and smoke alarms. Don’t have any detectors? Get some now.
  • Keep fire extinguishers around the house and teach everyone in the family how to use them.
  • If your windows are drafty, double them up with storm windows or by attaching plastic film on the inside of the glass panes.
  • Have your heating system inspected. This is an annual necessity. A qualified contractor can let you know if your system is in good enough shape to make it through the winter.