Every year during the winter there is an increase in house fires. Most of these are due to some common mistakes that people make during the winter months, including the upcoming holidays. A house fire can be devastating, but it can also be very easily prevented. There are some simple solutions you can use to prevent a fire in your home this winter, without costing you a penny. Save your home from accidental fires this winter by following these fire safety tips!
Fire Safety Tips - Know The Precautions
Unplug Your Holiday Lights
If you put up a Christmas tree or outdoor holiday lights, you should practice some caution, as holiday lights are known to cause house fires. Across the United States, nearly 400 house fires are caused by decorative lighting each year. House fires are often caused by the lights on Christmas trees getting too hot on the surface of a flammable, evergreen tree after being left on for hours unattended. Outdoor lights can cause a fire if there is a short caused by the wet weather. While you are sleeping or when you decide to go out, unplug your holiday lights. If you have multiple light strands, make it simple on yourself and plug them into the same power strip so you only have to pull one plug.
Avoid Using Space Heaters In Unattended Rooms
Space heaters are another large contributing factor to house fires throughout the winter. This is most often caused by flammable materials being too close to the heater or a shortage in the device caused by water. In order to prevent fire, make sure that you keep your space heater away from water and monitor it while it is on. Another tip is to keep the space heater off of fibrous surfaces that may catch fire such as carpets and rugs.
Unplug Appliances While You Are Out
Electrical fires are common in winter, in part due to snow blowing in and affecting an outlet. If you are using an outlet in a porched area or outside during the winter, be sure to unplug it while you are out to prevent a fire. This way if snow or rain happens to get into the area, it is much less likely to spark a blaze. If you have pets, make sure to keep their water and food far away from outlets in use, in case the water or food gets knocked over. You can save some money on your energy bills and reduce your risk of fire by unplugging certain appliances that don’t need to be running such as televisions, computers, game systems, coffee makers, and other kitchen appliances. Even if an appliance isn’t in use, a small amount of electricity is still flowing through it causing the device to overheat.
Use Your Fireplace Carefully
If you have a fireplace in your home, you will want to make sure that you are using it properly. Before you ever light a fire in your fireplace, inspect your chimney. If you see debris, have your chimney thoroughly cleaned. When using the fireplace, make sure that you have the grates or glass doors closed to keep sparks from escaping. Proper use of your fireplace can keep you toasty and safe this winter.
Inspect Your Furnace
Before you use your furnace, have it inspected by a professional. A professional should check the flume for debris and to make sure that there are no cracks in your system. Not only can this prevent a fire in your home, but could also save your family from carbon monoxide poisoning!
Winter is soon approaching, meaning that you will want to fire up those heaters, furnaces, or fireplaces. Whenever you bring in heating sources there is an increased risk of fire to your home, especially if not used properly. These fire safety tips will keep your home and family safe while you avoid the bitter cold of winter.