Tag Archives: safety

Tis the Season to Replace Detectors Around Your House

Tis the Season to Replace Detectors Around Your HouseThe signs that winter is coming are everywhere — crisp, cold mornings and pumpkin spice lattes abound. This also means you’ll likely be spending more time indoors for the next few months, warming your home with your heating system. Rest assured that your house is not only a cozy place to retreat to, but also a safe one, by checking your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors today.

Checking Your Detectors

It’s advised that you check the batteries on your detectors monthly by simply pressing the “test” button on them. If you don’t hear a sound when you test them, it’s time to install new batteries.

Although your alarms may sound with that pesky, attention-getting chirp when it’s time to replace the batteries, there is no obvious indication when your detectors have reached the end of their lives. Detectors that have reached their expiration should be replaced immediately. The following tips will help you ensure your detectors are in proper working order in your home:

  • Remove detectors from your ceilings and walls and check the manufacture date on the back of them to find out how old they are.
  • Carbon monoxide detectors last on average between 5 to 7 years.
  • Smoke detectors last about 10 years.
  • Position carbon monoxide detectors on all of the levels in your home. They should be installed in hallways close to bedrooms, at least 15 feet away from fuel-burning appliances and at least 15 inches from ceilings.
  • Smoke detectors should be on every level of your home, in each bedroom and outside of bedrooms (i.e. hallways). Larger homes may need more detectors than this.

When It’s Time to Replace Detectors

There are detectors that offer digital displays and some models even come with voice alerts. Smoke detectors can be interconnected — when one sounds, they all start to sound, quickly alerting you to a problem. Carbon monoxide detectors with a “fuel-cell electrochemical” sensor are the most accurate.

For more information on how to check or replace detectors, please feel free to contact us at Roth Heating & Cooling anytime. We’ve been proudly serving the Portland area since 1976.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Metro Portland, Oregon area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). 

Storm Season Preparation: Important Tips

Storm Season Preparation: Important TipsThe Portland area’s spring rain and snowmelt can lead to flooding, power outages, and other potential dangers. With a little spring storm preparation, though, you can keep your home and family safe until the weather clears.

Collect Emergency Supplies

Invest in a NOAA Weather Radio so you can receive current information on dangerous weather conditions even when other radio stations aren’t broadcasting. This is also helpful during winter wind and snow storms.

As part of your spring storm preparation, create an emergency kit. Include a battery-powered or hand crank radio, a first-aid kit, a flashlight with extra batteries, a multipurpose tool and blankets. Ideally, the kit should include enough nonperishable food and water for three days.

Prepare Your Home

Check around your home for damaged and weak tree branches that could come crashing down in the wind and rain. Cut them down or hire a pro to remove them.

Test your basement sump pump by pouring in a bucket of water. The pump should start up, drain the water and shut off. If it doesn’t, check for a stuck float. If you don’t have a sump pump, now is a good time to install one.

Inspect your foundation for cracks that could cause water leaks. Seal small cracks with a vinyl concrete patcher. Have cracks wider than 1/4 inch inspected and repaired by a professional.

Clean any winter debris out of your gutters and downspouts. Check your roof for damage that may have occurred during the winter. Replace damaged or missing shingles or tiles to prevent spring rain from leaking into your attic.

Review your home insurance policy to make sure it covers flooding and storm damage. Keep a copy of your policy where it’s protected from damage, such as a fire-rated safe.

During periods of heavy rain, turn off your furnace or air conditioner to protect it from electrical surges. You may also want to cover the A/C’s or heat pump’s outdoor condenser with a tarp secured with bungee cords.

For help with spring storm preparation, contact us at Roth Heating & Cooling in the Portland area.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Metro Portland, Oregon area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “marinini/Shutterstock”

Tips for Being Prepared if a Power Outage Occurs

Tips for Being Prepared if a Power Outage OccursThe chances that you’ll experience a power outage lasting longer than one hour increase every year. Our residences have become increasingly technology-dependent and our reliance on uninterrupted power is more critical than ever. When the electricity goes out for a lengthy period, some homes can become almost uninhabitable.

Here’s what to do to be prepared for power outages in your household:

  • Stock up on the basics. Keep a supply of flashlights with fresh batteries, candles, matches, and a battery-operated radio. Also make sure you have a first-aid kit. Keep a multi-day supply of canned food and bottled water on hand.
  • When the power goes out, shut down your furnace, air conditioner or heat pump to protect against damaging power surges common when the electricity is restored. Most gas-fired furnaces don’t work when power is out anyway.
  • During winter, stay warm by adding extra layers of clothing and moving everyone into one room, preferably with southern exposure that receives solar heat through windows. If you light a fire in the fireplace, make sure the flue is fully open beforehand and burn only firewood — not paper or other combustibles. If the house becomes too cold, relocate elsewhere.
  • If the power outage is caused by severe weather including heavy rain, be alert to possible basement flooding. Electric sump pumps that lack battery backup will not function.
  • If you utilize a portable generator it must be located outside, a safe distance from the home. Carbon monoxide fumes from generators are deadly. Consider installing a whole-house backup generator that monitors grid power continuously and automatically activates to restore electricity to household circuits.
  • Frozen pipes may occur in an unheated home. If temperatures drop below freezing, open indoor taps to allow a continuous trickle of water and prevent pipe ruptures.

For more tips on making it through a winter power outage, contact Roth Heating & Cooling.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Metro Portland area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). 

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “iQoncept/Shutterstock”

Vacationing? Tend to Your Home Safety and Security Before You Leave

Vacationing? Tend to Your Home Safety and Security Before You LeaveVery few things can cast a shadow over a relaxing vacation than coming home to a disaster of some sort.  So many things can go wrong while you’re away. The water heater may turn the living room into a swimming pool or a smashed window can confirm a break-in. However, you don’t have to fret every moment you are away. With a little forethought on home safety and security, you can prevent or reduce damage from the unexpected. Continue reading