Many people worry about winter weather problems in the home like frozen pipes and ice dams. While homeowners should be concerned about such issues, house fires also pose a major threat during the winter months. Simple activities like cooking or operating a fireplace can be dangerous when not done properly and safely. Fortunately, by keeping the following winter fire safety tips in mind, you can keep your home and family safe this season.
Operate Your Fireplace Properly
Indoor fires emit warmth and create a cozy atmosphere, but fireplaces can be dangerous if they are not used properly. If you intend to use a fireplace this winter, first have it cleaned and inspected. Make sure it has a metal or glass screen to prevent sparks or embers from getting out and starting a fire. Always extinguish the fire before leaving the house or going to sleep.
Winter Fire Safety Tips for Space Heaters
Portable heaters are handy during the winter if you spend a lot of time in one area of the house. However, they can be dangerous if not used correctly. Only purchase portable heaters that have an automatic shut-off function, which will immediately turn off your heater if it accidentally tips over.
Keep any flammable items, like curtains, clothing, and bedding at least three feet away from your heater. Lastly, always turn your heater off when you leave the room or go to bed.
Be Sure Your Smoke Detectors Work
When it comes to winter fire safety, make sure your smoke detectors are functional. There should be at least one smoke detector on every level of your home and inside and outside of each bedroom. Test all the detectors every month. Guaranteeing your smoke detectors are functional is important, especially since many fire-related deaths occur in homes that don’t have working smoke alarms.
Pay Attention to Electrical Appliances
Electrical appliances can be dangerous if they have old or frayed cords. Many house fires are caused by appliance malfunctions, so make certain your appliances are in good condition. Do not run cords under rugs or furniture and replace devices that have damaged cords.
Understand the Threat of Carbon Monoxide
It is critical to address carbon monoxide when talking about winter fire safety. Also known as the “invisible killer,” carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless, and poisonous gas that can be generated by fuel-burning appliances such as fireplaces, stoves, and furnaces.
Inhaling too much carbon monoxide can be deadly, so if you have any fuel-burning appliances, purchase carbon monoxide detectors. Place at least one detector on every level of your home, in bedrooms, hallways, the garage, and areas with fuel-burning appliances.
Winter Fire Safety Tips for Cooking
Cooking is an integral part of the holiday season for most, but unattended cooking fires are some of the most common types of house fires. You may feel comfortable operating your stove while performing other tasks, but when it comes to winter fire safety, stay in the kitchen while you are cooking. If you must leave the room, remember to turn off your stove first. If you are using a grill outside, make sure the grill is at least ten feet away from your home and other structures.
Keep These Winter Fire Safety Tips in Mind
Take precautions for fire safety this winter. By keeping the previously mentioned tips in mind, you can stay safe and warm during the winter months.