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Make safety your New Year's resolution

(NC) Rather than cut back on sweets this year, why not make a resolution to make your home safer in 2014? According to Enbridge Gas Distribution, Ontarians can learn how to use natural gas safely in their homes in just six seconds. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

• Book an inspection: In winter months, Ontarians are indoors with windows closed and fuel-burning appliances running, which makes the risk of carbon monoxide (CO) exposure higher. All fuel-burning equipment, including the furnace and gas fireplaces, should be inspected once a year by a licensed heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) contractor to ensure they're working properly.

• Check CO alarms: CO alarms are your second line of defense. Take the time to test your CO alarms once a month. Change your batteries in your CO alarms every year when you change your clocks.

• Clear the meter: Check your natural gas meter, regulator and appliance exhaust vents for snow and ice. If needed, use a broom or car brush to gently clear them. Use caution when shoveling or using a snow blower to prevent damage.

• Teach your kids: Make sure everyone in your home knows that a gas leak smells like rotten eggs. All family members should know to leave the area immediately and call the gas utility.

• Create a phone list: Post emergency numbers, including the doctor, fire and utilities, by every phone in your home and program these numbers in every cell phone in case of an emergency.

For more home safety tips, visit

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