7 Ways To Use Space Heaters Safely

Feel that? It’s the chill of fall hitting homeowners across the country –brrr! If your home has inconsistent or poor heating, purchasing a space heater isn’t a bad idea. Before your family members (including the four-legged furry ones!) come flocking to your cozy new friend, make sure you’ve read our seven tips for safe space heater use.

1. Pick the right heater for your home. Space heaters come sized for different spaces; make sure to choose the correct heater based on the dimensions of your room.
TIP: If your space heater is too small for the room, it’s more likely to overheat as a result. If it’s too large, it’ll consume more energy (a big hit to your wallet!).
2. Quality matters! Older space heaters may not meet current safety regulations, so it’s worth it to purchase a new one now instead of digging out the one your grandmother bought back in 1975.
TIP: Make sure your heater has the latest safety features and is lab-tested and certified. Some newer models have automatic shutoff features should the unit overheat or upend, preventing space heater damage. Others will shut off if they detect an object is too close (great for households with pets or children).
3. Clear the area. There should be at least three feet of open space on every side of your space heater.
TIP: Make sure you place the unit far from any curtains, bedding, furniture or other flammable materials. Keep the room tidy as well—you don’t want any stray newspapers or old report cards coming into contact with the heater!
4. Position it correctly. You should place your heater on a flat, level surface that isn’t flammable.
TIP: Experts recommend a ceramic tile floor. This will keep your heater upright.
5. Plug it in safely. Never plug your space heater into a power strip or extension cord—this could overload the circuit and start a fire.
TIP: Plug it directly into the wall and avoid using other high-wattage appliances simultaneously!
6. Don’t leave it unattended. The number one key to space heater safety is TURNING IT OFF when you leave the room.
TIP: Always turn off a space heater when you leave the room for any reason and when you go to bed at night. To be extra safe, unplug it—that way there’s no risk of a fire starting.
7. Keep your home’s safety measures up-to-date! There should be a working smoke alarm in every room you plan to use a space heater. Test the batteries once per month and replace them biannually or as necessary!
TIP: If you opt for a gas space heater, install a carbon monoxide alarm as a smart precautionary measure.

At Paul Davis Restoration of Central Maine, we’re here to help keep you safe through each new season. Paul Davis Restoration of Central Maine services the following communities: Bangor Brewer, Old Town, Ellsworth, MDI, Houlton, Waterville, Augusta, and surrounding towns in Central & Down East Maine.

Holiday home fire safety tips from Paul Davis

Keith Trembley

Holiday Home Fire Safety Tips from Paul Davis

Milford, ME – Decorate and entertain during the holiday season with caution and keep safety in mind. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, during Thanksgiving approximately 2,000 house fires happen with 69 percent of the fires caused by cooking. During the holidays, an estimated 128,700 fires and 1,650 injuries, along with 415 deaths occur with close to $25.5 million in property damage.

Keith Trembley Builder, Inc. / Paul Davis Restoration of Central Maine, a leading provider of fire, water and mold damage restoration services for residential and commercial properties offers the following tips to make the holidays safe for you and your family.

Holiday Decorations: Be aware of toxic decorations which may be poisonous. Use non-combustible, flame-resistant materials. Never use lighted candles on a tree, evergreens or other flammable materials.

Lights: Check for loose connections, broken or cracked sockets or frayed wires. Use UL approved lighting. Fasten lights to the tree and prevent bulbs from coming in contact with the needles or branches. Turn off all holiday lights when leaving home or retiring for the evening.

Trees: Be sure a natural tree is fresh and less likely to become a fire hazard. Cut two inches off the trunk and place in a sturdy water stand, water daily. Keep the tree away from fireplaces, wall furnaces and other heat sources. Use ‘fire resistant’ artificial trees.

Portable space heaters: Place space heaters at least three feet away from anything combustible and operate only when you are in the room. Never leave a space heater on overnight or near children and pets.

Cooking: Avoid wearing loose clothing which can be ignited by hot burners. Turn pot handles in. Don’t store items on top of the stove, they can catch on fire. Turn off kitchen appliances after use. Turkey fryers should be used outdoors and away from buildings and flammable materials.

Fire Escape Plan: Know your escape routes. Have a working fire extinguisher in the kitchen, laundry room, and garage. Never burn greens, papers, or other decorations in the fireplace. Working smoke alarms should be installed on every level of your home, test them monthly, replace batteries every six months.

Know who to call in case of an emergency: Keep contact numbers handy for the police and fire departments, doctors and the national poison help line. In case of emergency property damage, contact a licensed, professional fire damage clean up and restoration company.
About Paul Davis:
Paul Davis Restoration, Inc., a subsidiary of FirstService Corporation (NASDAQ: FSRV; TSX: FSV), is a national franchisor and leading provider of restoration services for residential and commercial properties since 1966. Paul Davis Restoration also provides complete remodeling services and has franchise locations throughout North America with owners and technicians who are certified by The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC). Visit the local office website at www.keithtrembley.com.

About FirstService Corporation:
FirstService Corporation is a global leader in the rapidly growing real estate services sector, providing a variety of services in commercial real estate, residential property management and property services. As one of the largest property managers in the world, FirstService manages more than 2.3 billion square feet of residential and commercial properties through its three industry-leading service platforms: Colliers International, one of the largest global players in commercial real estate; FirstService Residential Management, the largest manager of residential communities in North America; and Property Services, one of North America’s largest providers of property-related services delivered through franchise and contractor networks. FirstService generates over $2.3 billion in annual revenues and has more than 23,000 employees worldwide. More information about FirstService is available at www.firstservice.com.

The Top 5 Things To Do After a Hurricane or Other Major Catastrophe Hits

Hurricane Sandy has hit the East Coast, leaving a tragic loss of human life and devastating property damage in its wake. Whether you and your family experienced this frightening superstorm personally or other disaster, the first thing you think about is: What do I do now? At Paul Davis Restoration of Central Maine, we’re here to help you get your life back together as quickly and smoothly as possible.

With all the media coverage surrounding this storm, it’s a good time to remind everyone of what you should do after disaster strikes.

The top five things to do after a disaster:

1. Contact your loved ones. You’ll want to get in touch with family and friends to let them know you are safe and to check on their well-being. Those outside the affected area can provide you with more information about the aftermath of catastrophic events like Hurricane Sandy or give you any help you may need if your electricity is still out.

2. Check your surroundings. A broken gas line or a downed overhead power line can be a serious hazard after a disaster. Call the utility company right away to address the issue, and keep away from the hazard until a crew arrives to fix the problem.

3. Major damage? Be Careful Before You Clean. It’s natural to want to start cleaning up your home and getting life back to normal as soon as possible, but be careful — cleanup after a major weather event or other disaster can be dangerous. Standing water from flooding can create an electric shock hazard. It is important to turn off the power to your home if you can do so safely. Fallen trees, exposed structural damage, broken glass and other debris can pose a myriad of dangers too. An unstable structure is dangerous. If it looks like your home fits this category, do not attempt to cleanup and remove the debris yourself. Wait for professional help to arrive. If a major event like Hurricane Sandy damages your home, find a safe place to stay until you can get your house professionally cleaned up and restored.

4. Contact your insurance company. You’ll want to get in touch with your insurance company immediately to get a damage assessment and submit a claim. During the claim filing process, your insurance company will ask you for a list of everything destroyed, damaged or missing. If you don’t have a home inventory list, walk from room to room and create the list from memory, including brand names, prices, and when and where the item was purchased, if possible.

5. Emergency situation? Contact a restoration company as soon as you can. Remember that most insurance policies require you to do what you can to stop the damage to your home. Don’t wait for a contractor to knock on your door and offer you a quote—there will be all kinds of repair companies coming through your town after a hurricane or other disaster. Be proactive in calling a trained and certified emergency services and / or restoration company that specializes in repairing the specific type of damage your home sustained from disasters like Hurricane Sandy.

Paul Davis Restoration of Central Maine is here to help you put your life back together in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy or other disaster. Our emergency services and restoration professionals already are at work in the Northeast, inspecting the damage and starting on the path to restore peoples’ homes.