Winter Fire Safety
During winter, we often notice an increase in house fires. Fires are often preventable. Here are a few important things to consider as we head into the winter months:
- Have your furnace serviced. The coldest months are very taxing on your furnace, as it has to run often to keep your house warm. If the furnace is not working quite right, it is more at risk for wearing out and causing a fire. Having your furnace serviced by a heating professional can reduce the risk of fire.
- Clean the chimney and flue for your wood-burning unit. Buildup of creosote can cause a chimney fire, which can damage your home.
- Be careful with candles. Candles add a warm, comforting ambiance to the home during the winter months, especially at Christmas time. However, candles are a common cause of house fires. If you burn candles, always keep them far away from combustibles (e.g. pine boughs, ribbons, wreaths), and never leave them unattended. LED candles are also a wonderful safe alternative!
- Check holiday lights and electrical cords carefully. When putting up the Christmas tree, check every inch of the string lights. If there is any cracking, fraying, or something doesn’t look quite right, don’t use it! Take care to turn off and unplug lights when not in use.
- Keep live holiday trees well-watered. Real Christmas trees dry out easily, and are extremely combustible. Keeping the tree from drying out can reduce the risk of a house fire.
- Be careful in the kitchen. Kitchen fires can sure spoil the holiday spirit! Keep a fire extinguisher within reach of the stove, and be sure to test your fire alarm batteries regularly. Watch greasy foods carefully when cooking.
- Have an escape plan. Make a family plan for how to safely exit the house in event of a fire. Talk with your children about it and practice your escape plan together. Have fire alarms near every sleeping area of the home, and test batteries regularly.