Winter is the prime season for house fires. According to the National Fire Protection Association, nearly a third of all total-loss house fires occur in the months of December, January, and February. While most fires are small, fire damage can still be costly and potentially injure someone in your home. The good news is that most house fires are easily preventable. Here are some winter activities that can put your home at risk of fire damage and what you can do to avoid a dangerous situation.
Most space heater accidents happen while everyone is sleeping. These toasty devices may be a godsend for some bone-chilling rooms, but they are also the leading cause of house fires in the winter. Here are three rules to always follow when using space heaters:
- Make sure your heater is at least three feet away from anything flammable
- Plug your heater directly into the outlet rather than an extension cord
- Do not go to bed with the space heater on.
Stovetop cooking is the leading cause of house fires year round, and most occur within the first 15 minutes of cooking. Never leave the room when you have a hot pan on the stove eye. If oven mitts, dish towels, or other flammable items are around, move them at least three feet away. If you’re suddenly faced with flames and spattering grease, the worst possible thing to do is panic. Turn off the stove, put on a pair of elbow-length cooking gloves, cover the pan with a lid, and let the oil cool down. Also, have a fire extinguisher handy.
We live in a world full of electronics. Because of that, we add an extension cord or adapter to accommodate all of our appliances. Feel the cords to make sure they’re not too warm or overloaded. Also, never run extension cords under rugs, tape them to floors, staple or nail them to walls, or string several together to make an extra-large extension cord.
Fireplaces and chimneys should be checked on a regular basis. However, always make sure to extinguish the fire completely before leaving or sleeping, and keep flammable objects at least five feet away.
The main problem is not the candles, but how we use them. Too many people light them on top of tablecloths or near curtains, which can easily catch fire. Never leave a candle burning unattended, or switch to battery-powered ones.
Install and maintain smoke detectors
Each room inside your home needs a working smoke detector, including the basement. Test them every few months and completely replace them every ten years.
Have a fire extinguisher and know how to use it
Having a fire extinguisher will do you and your family no good if you do not know how to use it properly. Watch videos online and know how to properly handle one and where to spray in case of emergency. Local firehouses and firefighters will also show you how to use one.
Plan an escape route
Know every way to escape from your home in case of a fire. The front door is not always an option. Know how to break away from bedrooms and windows.
At Insight Restoration, our number one goal is to keep you and your family safe from fire damage. If damage does occur on your property, the key to proper clean-up is to act fast. Call us at 208-427-3042 and we’ll send our experts out immediately to inspect the damage.