Winter Fire Safety Tips
When winter hits, we’re all ready to crank up our heating systems and get cozy under a blanket. But with more use of our heating systems brings an increased number of house fires. More people stay inside with the heightened usage of fireplaces, candles, and furnaces, and can account for more house fires. So how do we prevent this from happening?
– Fireplace care – Make sure your fireplace has a sturdy screen to prevent sparks from flying into the room. Keep your chimney and fireplace clean, and free of debris from previous fires. Be sure the damper or flue is open before you start your fire. Keep the area around your fireplace free of flammable items. And keep your children and pets at a safe 3-foot distance from the fireplace.
– Candle usage – Keep your candles away from curtains, blankets or other flammable items. Always remember to blow out your candles when you leave the room or go to bed. And keep pets clear of them, to prevent them from accidently knocking the candle over or burning their fluffy animal fur!
– Proper space heater use – Space heaters can be great for extra heat in rooms that tend to be colder than others (from either lack of proper insulation or basement living spaces). Remember to turn them off when leaving the room or going to bed. Keep them at least 3 feet from flammable items, like fabric or bedding. This also goes for children and pets, because of potential burning hazards. Always use the right kind of fuel for fuel burning space heaters. If you find that your usage of space heaters is increasing, then you should have your furnace inspected to make sure you are getting maximum efficiency output.
– Test smoke alarms – You should test your smoke alarms once a month to ensure they are functioning properly. To do this, press and hold the test button for at least five seconds until you hear the beeps. Vacuum dust off your smoke alarms every six months to keep your smoke alarm free of particles. This will help reduce false alarms and ensure smoke can easily reach the internal sensor. Replace lead or alkaline batteries every 12 months.
– Maintaining your furnace – To keep any unexpected or expensive repairs at bay, make sure you have an HVAC company service your furnace before winter hits. They will make sure your furnace is healthy, running efficiently and void of fire hazards.
Any home should have a fire extinguisher on hand in the kitchen. Consider having an extra one for near your fireplace, space heaters, or rooms with frequent candle use. Following these safety tips will provide peace of mind while you snuggle cozily in your warm home this winter.
Call us today with any of your heating questions!