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Home Safety Tips When Preparing for Colder Weather

Home Safety Tips When Preparing for Colder Weather

(KANSAS CITY, Kan.) — As the region transitions from fall to the winter months, the Kansas City Board of Public Utilities (BPU) has gathered some general home safety tips and reminders for customers and the community as they prepare for colder weather. These include:

  • Inspect Extension Cords – With the holidays approaching, the use of extension cords may increase. Always check cords for damage, and make sure any used outdoors are “weather-rated”. If using multiple cords, be sure and use surge protectors to provide internal load protection.
  • Check Cold Weather Tools – Electrical tools that may be used as it gets colder, like leaf blowers, should be checked for unusual wear and tear and have their power cords replaced or repaired if they show damage.
  • Rake Dry Leaves – When leaves begin falling from trees, sweep them away from outdoor outlets, light fixtures, and power cords. Dry leaves can catch fire if hit with a spark. Keep your outdoor a/c unit clean and clear of any autumn debris as well.
  • Be Careful using Electrical Devices Outdoors – Make sure electrical devices used outside are weatherproof, and only use GFCI outlets with bubble covers to keep moisture out and protect against shock.
  • Test Smoke Alarms – Always make sure your smoke alarms are in working order – ensuring if an electrical fire does break out you and your family are properly warned before the fire grows too big.
  • Use Electric Blankets Safely – Make sure the blanket is in good condition – checking the power cord for cracks, cuts, or fraying. Never put anything on top of an electric blanket when it’s in use.

Carbon Monoxide (CO) exposure also occurs more often during the colder months when people are more likely to use gas furnaces, heaters, stoves, and generators in their homes. CO fumes from these sources can build up in enclosed spaces, resulting in 100,000 poisonings and approximately 450 deaths every year. Protect yourself and your family by learning the symptoms of CO poisoning and how to prevent it.

  • DO have your heating system, water heater and any other gas, oil, or coal burning appliances serviced by a qualified technician every year.
  • DO install a battery-operated CO detector in your home and check or replace the battery when you change the time on your clocks each spring and fall.
  • DO seek prompt medical attention if you suspect CO poisoning and are feeling dizzy, light-headed, or nauseous.
  • DON’T use a generator, charcoal grill, camp stove, or other gasoline or charcoal-burning device inside your home, basement, or garage or near a window.
  • DON’T burn anything in a stove or fireplace that isn’t vented.
  • DON’T heat your house with a gas oven.
  • DON’T use a generator, pressure washer, or any gasoline-powered engine less than 20 feet from any window, door, or vent.
  • DON’T run a car or truck inside a garage attached to your house, even if you leave the door open.

For more information on related topics, go to www.BPU.com. BPU also provides helpful information on a variety of issues through videos on its YouTube channel.

About BPU

BPU’s water department was originally created in 1909, and its electric utility was operational in 1912. The purpose of the utility, then and to this day, is to provide the highest quality electric and water services at the lowest possible cost. Today the publicly owned utility serves approximately 65,000 electric and 53,000 water customers, primarily in Wyandotte County, Kansas. The mission of the utility and its employees is “to focus on the needs of our customers, to improve the quality of life in our community while promoting safe, reliable and sustainable utilities.” BPU’s Web site is www.bpu.com.



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