Winter Fire Safety Tips
While winter doesn’t officially start until December 21st, you can already the chill in the air. Winter comes at you fast and hard in this area. Once you feel that chill, you want to relax by the fireplace and drink hot cocoa. You know about certain risks during winter, like frostbite and blizzards, but you should also prepare for winter by following these winter fire safety tips and thinking about other ways you could pose risks to your home and family during the winter.
- Clean your chimney- Before you go about drinking that hot cocoa and using your fireplace, clear any build-up in your chimney, especially if you use wood or pellets in your fireplace. This build-up can cause fires.
- Don’t leave your fire unattended. The desire to light the fireplace is high in the winter months, but don’t leave with the fireplace lit. Make sure to put out the fireplace being leaving the room or house.
- When using your fireplace, make sure it is covered with a screen or tempered glass- Without these barriers, sparks could fly out and catch nearby things on fire, which is why it is also important to keep flammable things away from the fireplace. Also, keep kids and pets at least three feet away.
- Beware of space heaters- In order to use space heaters properly, they need a lot of space cleared out from around them. If you truly need a space heater, consider getting one with an auto shutoff in case of excessive heat.
- Use candles carefully- I love a good candle in the winter, especially one with a holiday scent, but when using these candles, they shouldn’t be near anything they could light on fire. Nor should you leave the room before blowing them out. Also, watch kids and pets near them, as they could be very dangerous.
- Test your smoke alarms- Double check the batteries in your smoke alarms so they are always ready in case you need them. Make sure they are located in the kitchen, bedrooms and laundry rooms, as these rooms can be the most likely to be the start of a fire.
- Have your furnace professionally checked- It is better to use a professional than doing it yourself, because they are properly trained and can assure everything is running smoothly.
And lastly, if you are driving around and see smoke in the air that seems to be coming from a home, take a second look and make sure before you call an emergency service. In the beginning of the cold season, people use their furnaces and fireplaces for the first time and it can create a dark smoke, which can be perceived as smoke from a house fire. However, if you are truly doubting, call 911 to confirm.
SERVPRO of Norridge/Harwood Heights wishes you a safe and happy winter!