Keeping Your Home Safe From Potential Winter Fire Hazards

Winter’s chill can come fast and furiously, as it settles long fingers of frost and ice onto the snow-packed earth. For centuries, humans have turned to fire to stay warm during the dark winter months, and modern man is no different. From heaters to fireplaces to radiators, you may find yourself seeking the warmth that comes from heating devices as a supplement to your home’s furnace. As you stay warm, remember to stay safe – and keep your home safe from potential fire hazards.

Candles

If your electricity goes out during one of those sudden winter storms, you may naturally turn to candles for a little warm and a lot of light. However, candles can be dangerous and have been known to start almost 10,000 fires each year. A good rule is to never leave a candle burning while unattended. Also, make sure candles are away from curtains and other flammable surfaces. If you must use a candle, keep it out of the reach of children and pets, and never put a lit candle on a Christmas tree.

Fireplaces

Although fireplaces are not as common as they once were, many homes still have the wood-burning home heaters that many people love. Known for its ability to provide exceptional warmth, the fireplace can also be dangerous if not properly used and maintained. Tiny bits of wood can pop out of the fireplace and spark a fire on the ground or in furniture, so make sure you have a spark guard or screen to keep the flying bits inside the fire area. Never fill your fireplace with too many logs because although you may think a big fire it better than a small one, the truth is that most of the heat will go up the chimney instead of into the area, and big fires have a larger potential to scatter flying debris into the room. Another helpful hint is to make sure your fireplace is cleaned yearly to prevent a dangerous creosote buildup that could catch fire and do major damage to your home.

Heaters

Your boiler unit, furnace, or heater can feel great on a cold day as it pushes the hot air into the room to warm your chilled bones; however, it is important to know how to maintain the unit before winter settles in and you need to begin using the heat source. To prevent house fires, make sure you service the unit yearly and check for possible natural gas leaks or carbon monoxide gas problems. You should also make sure there are no items near the device that could catch fire if the unit becomes overly heated.

Keeping your home safe from fire damage can be as easy as being aware of your surroundings whenever there is an open fire or heat source in your house. You already know to keep clothing and furniture away from open flames, and to make sure to put fires out when you go to bed. With those simple tips, you can keep your home safe from potential winter fire hazards all season long.


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