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David Sanner Posted by: David Sanner 4 months ago

Experts agree that winter is the time of year when there is an increased risk of house fires. Fire prevention is essential year-round, but especially during the colder months.

Heating systems being used again after 6-8 months of being dormant, winter storms affecting power lines, candle usage, and using fireplaces, space heaters, and wood-burning stoves all play a role in increasing the risk of a fire in your home.

We all want to stay warm and cozy this coming winter season, so use our top 8 fire prevention tips below to make sure you and your family stay safe and warm.

Check Your Furnace

Before you start actively using your furnace this winter, get it inspected. Staying on top of your furnace’s annual maintenance is a vital way to keep your home safe.

Change the filter seasonally and make sure the space around your furnace is clear of any items that are flammable.

Safely Use Kerosene & Space Heaters

If you need to use a kerosene heater or space heater this winter, make sure you do so safely.

Keep anything flammable away from the heater and make sure it has an automatic shut-off feature. If the heater gets knocked over, it needs to immediately shut off.

Only use kerosene heaters from a recognized testing laboratory and refuel them outdoors.

Portable electric heaters need to be plugged directly into your wall outlet, don’t use power strips or extension cords, and turn them off when you go to bed or leave the room.

Use Your Fireplace Appropriately

If you’ve recently moved into a home that has a fireplace, make sure you have the fireplace and chimney inspected before using your fireplace this season.

Fireplaces can be a great way to warm your home this winter, but there is a risk of having an open flame indoors. To keep your home safe, follow these fire prevention guidelines:

  • Have a certified chimney sweep clean your chimney and fireplace to remove creosote buildup, check for cracks, and make sure the fireplace is safe to use again this year.
  • Keep a screen in front of your fireplace. Metal or glass will work well as it prevents embers and sparks from escaping from the fireplace into your home.
  • Extinguish your fire before you go to sleep or leave your home.
  • Don’t burn paper in your fireplace.
  • Burn small, hot fires using dry wood to prevent fires in your flue.
  • Clean the ashes out of your fireplace regularly and store them outdoors in a metal container with a lid.

Install Smoke And Carbon Monoxide Detectors

This is one of the easiest and most effective things you can do for fire prevention.

Your home should have smoke and carbon monoxide detectors installed on every floor. Make sure there is one installed outside each sleeping area and inside each bedroom.

Test your detectors monthly and make sure they have fresh batteries. If your smoke or carbon monoxide detectors are older than 10 years, they need to be replaced with newer models.

If you aren’t sure which detectors are the best choice for your home, contact your local fire department for their recommendations.

Inspect Outlets & Cords

Don’t overload your electrical outlets or power strips and check all power cords you use to make sure none of them are frayed or stripped.

This is particularly important when you’re using holiday lights on a flammable tree or other decorative objects. Check your lights and cords before decorating and replace old strings of lights with new LED options that are cool to the touch.

Practice Candle Safety

The winter holiday season is a time when many homeowners burn candles more often. There’s nothing wrong with festive candles, but make sure you burn them safely! 

Keep them at least a foot away from anything flammable and never leave them unattended. Store matches and lit candles out of a child’s reach and make sure every candle is extinguished before leaving your home or going to bed

Have Fire Extinguishers Ready

Having fire extinguishers in your home and making sure the adults in your home know how to use them is an essential part of fire safety.

Make sure the extinguishers in your home are easy to access and in key rooms where there is a higher risk for fires, especially the kitchen and garage.

Use Flashlights During Power Outages

Don’t reach for candles when the power goes out.

Instead, make sure you have a power outage emergency kit focused on fire prevention that includes:

  • Flashlights
  • Extra batteries
  • Portable radio (in case your phone doesn’t stay charged)
  • Canned/packaged foods
  • Basic tool kit
  • Bottled water
  • First aid kit
  • Blankets

We’re Always Here To Help With Fire Prevention

Have you had a small fire in your kitchen and need help removing the smoke damage and getting it back to a safe space to prepare food?

Or maybe you’re dealing with the aftermath of a larger fire and need help filing insurance claims and getting restoration started.

Lake City Restoration is available 24/7, so no matter the season, our experts are here to help restore your home.