How to Prevent Fires this Winter
Is your home fire-proofed for the winter? More fires occur between December and February than at any other time of the year. Fires in the winter can not only produce a costly fire cleanup, but can also give your home water damage if the fire occurs when itís snowy or icy out. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to help reduce the chances a fire will consume your home this winter.
What Causes Fires in the Winter?
Home heating problems and unattended cooking are the largest causes of fires in the winter.† With a large portion of the population living in areas where winter temperatures can get below freezing, space heaters and built-in heating systems are used in most households. Improper care and cleaning of furnaces as well as leaving flammable objects too close to heating devices can lead to fires. Fireplaces are especially dangerous if the chimney isnít cleaned and there is no proper fire screen in place.
With so many holiday get-togethers, the kitchen becomes a social hub during the winter. Unfortunately, it also becomes the source of many house fires. Unattended ranges or cooktops account for 86 percent of civilian deaths in home cooking fires. Frying poses the greatest rick of fire, and Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires.
Prevent Home Heating Fires
- Schedule regular maintenance to get your furnace or heating system checked regularly
- Make sure your vents and chimney are clean and free of debris
- Keep flammable objects at least three feet away from heaters
- Check to make sure portable heaters have thermostat controls that will switch off if they fall over
- Make sure the fire in the fireplace is completely out before leaving the house or going to bed
- Keep the area around your furnace free of dust and lint
- Make sure your fireplace has a proper screen heavy enough to stop logs from rolling out
- Keep an eye on what youíre cooking, and stay alert while cooking
- Stay in the same room when cooking something
- Keep children at least three feet away from the stove
- Clean up any grease spills near the range on the stove
- Wear short, close-fitting, or tightly rolled sleeves when cooking
- Keep barbeque grills at least 10 feet away from siding and roof eaves
Prevent Cooking Fires
Home heating and cooking arenít the only causes of fires. Stay vigilant and follow these tips to ensure a fire-free winter:
- Have fire extinguishers easily accessible
- Test smoke alarms monthly
- If you smoke, smoke outside
- Donít leave candles unattended
- Make sure your electrical appliances are in good condition
- Turn off all electrical appliances when you leave the room
- Never use the range or oven to heat your home
If you experience fire damage in Maryland, Virginia, or Washington, DC, know that you can always count on the experts at Tri State Restorations to help you recover your space. Weíre available 24 hours a day, seven days a week for your convenience and can be on site within 90 minutes to mitigate the damage. Contact us at 866-818-1949.