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Ways to heat your home in an emergency

Extreme weather conditions in the winter sometimes means that our power and heating supplies are interrupted, and the sources we’ve come to rely on, like our home heating oil, are no longer available to us (temporarily anyway). In cases like this, you need to know a few different ways to heat your home in an emergency, so that you can stay warm and wait out the worst of the weather until normal power is restored. Read the advice below so that you can be prepared should a winter storm hit the shores of Ireland this year.

Alternative heating methods

Although you might rely on home heating oil now to heat your home, if the power fails and your boiler stops working, you might need to consider these other ways to heat your home in an emergency.

  • Wood burning stove or an open fire. Very effective at keeping you warm, but remember basic fire safety too – always keep a fire guard on, and remember to extinguish it completely before bed.
  • Kerosene heater or other portable space heater device. These can be dangerous, so use with caution. Always make sure you have a working carbon monoxide alarm in the room with you when you have these switched on.
  • Dress appropriately. Sounds obvious, but when there’s no heat and the weather’s terrible, you need to stay warm and the easiest way to do this is by dressing in multiple layers and never leaving the house without a coat.
  • Pocket warmers and hot water bottles are traditional ways to stay warm but sometimes the old ways are the best! Keep your toes cosy with a hot water bottle at the end of the bed on a cold night.
  • Cooking in a pot over a fire sounds a bit like a camping adventure, but it’s so important to keep your core temperature warm with hot meals. Hot soups, stews and porridge will help you stay warmer for longer.

Preparation

Hope for the best and prepare for the worst is a popular phrase that really sums up the attitude of many homeowners when they’re trying to protect their homes. A little bit of planning now could make all the difference, and it doesn’t have to be a time consuming process. Here are some of the things we would recommend:

  • Make sure your current attic or roof insulation is at the recommended thickness level of 270mm in order to be most effective at keeping any residual heat in your home should the power go out.
  • Stock up on chopped wood, if you have a wood burning stove or an open fire to burn it in safely. As the saying goes, ‘chopping wood warms you twice’ so the physical effort of chopping it will also help you forget about the cold for a while.
  • Batteries for torches, matches and candles are also a must. Buy them now and keep them somewhere obvious, so you’re not reaching around blindly in the dark looking for them if the power cuts out.