Every year over a million fires are reported across the country. Winter is the peak season for house fires because of all the ways we all try to keep warm and cozy! So, before temperatures really plummet, take a few minutes to make sure your home is protected this year. Eliminate these common fire risks to keep your family safe.
Kitchen appliances are to most common causes of house fires in the US. Make sure you use common sense when you’re cooking to avoid risks. Keep dish towels and other flammable items away from the cooktop. Never leave the stove unattended. If you’re using the oven, no need to stand in the kitchen the whole time, but check it every half hour or so. Never leave the house with the oven on.
Space Heaters & Fireplaces
Heating equipment (including space heaters and fireplaces) are the second most common causes of house fires and fire-related deaths each year. Space heaters are a major culprit here. If you use space heaters responsibly, the risk is minimal, but to be safe, you must follow the rules. First, place your heater with at least 3 feet of clearance on every side. Second, plug it directly into an outlet. Don’t use an extension cord. And finally, don’t leave your heater on when you go to sleep. It’s much safer to wear warmer pjs and add some extra blankets to the bed.
Fireplaces can also cause some problems if they’re not used correctly. To keep your fireplace safe, have your chimney inspected and cleaned once a year. If you burn wood, dispose of the embers properly. They can smolder and cause fires for up to two weeks, so your best bet is to sweep them into a metal container. Don’t mix them with other trash. Never leave a fireplace unattended.
‘Tis the season to string lots of extra lights around, but take care not to overload your circuits! If you’re worried that you may have too many plugs in one outlet, feel the cords. Warm or hot cords signal that there’s an overload. If you’re using extension cords, run them under rugs or tape them to the floor. Also, don’t string multiple extension cords together to make a super long one.
Candles cause hundreds of fires every year, and they’re easily preventable. Simply keep candles away from curtains, tablecloths and other flammable items. Make sure to keep candles on stable surfaces and avoid placing them in drafty areas.
Image and info from the National Fire Protection Association