Fire Safety Tips to Follow This Winter

by Anne B. Robinson
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Winter is a risky season for housefires—but it doesn’t have to be. You can keep your home fire-safe this season. Read ahead to find out the common winter habits that cause blazes and how you can avoid them.

Frozen Pipes

When the temperatures drop, your water pipes can freeze. This can cut off your access to water through your sinks, toilets, showers and appliances until the pipes have thawed.

Some homeowners get understandably frustrated about frozen pipes and try to thaw them using dangerous methods like heat guns or torches. This is not a good idea and can result in a housefire.

If you have frozen pipes, do not thaw them on your own. Call a plumber—they will have the equipment to safely thaw the pipes without causing a disaster. Don’t skip the service to save some money. Losing your access to water is an emergency, after all.

What if you don’t have enough money? Then, you could go to a website like CreditFresh and see whether you’re eligible for a personal loan in your home state. If you’re eligible, you could send in your application online. It may only take a few minutes to fill out. Soon after, you’ll find out about your approval status. You just might access a loan that could help you cover those plumbing fees.

The Fireplace

Are you planning on lighting a fire in your fireplace this winter? Then, you should take some precautions first.

Start by hiring a professional chimney sweeper to clean your chimney. Why? A chimney sweep will remove creosote buildup from inside your chimney. According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America, too much creosote can cause chimney fires, which then turn into house fires.

Keep a grate in front of your fireplace at all times. The grate can contain any sparks coming off the flames and prevent them from landing on any flammable surfaces nearby (for example, a rug).

Space Heaters

Space heaters are extremely useful for households that don’t have effective centralized heating. Homeowners can use individual electric heaters to fight off the winter chill.

Space heaters can cause house fires. As a precaution, you should never leave these heaters unsupervised when they are running. Turn them off when you leave the room or when you go to sleep.

Always plug space heaters into an unshared wall outlet (no other device should be plugged in). Do not plug them into a power strip. This can cause the appliance to overheat and set fire. If you can, purchase space heaters that have automatic shut-off features — they will turn off at the first sign of overheating.

Candles

Candles provide beautiful mood lighting in the darkest time of year, but they come with a serious risk. As a precaution, candles should be placed in sturdy, heat-resistant containers. The containers should be tall enough to surround the flaming wick.

Keep the candles on a stable surface away from flammable objects, like curtains, furniture or paper products. If you’re very worried about the possibility of fire, you can always use flameless candles for decoration.

The Stovetop

Stovetops are common causes of house fires. To keep your kitchen safe, you shouldn’t leave your cooking unattended, especially when cooking something greasy on high heat. Leaving this dish unsupervised could cause a grease fire.

As a precaution, place a box of baking soda or salt by the stovetop. You can use either of these to douse a growing grease fire on the stovetop. Or you can keep your kitchen stocked with a Class B Dry Chemical Fire Extinguisher. This will also douse this dangerous fire in a hurry.

Never spray water on a grease fire. That will splash the hot grease, potentially harming anyone in the vicinity. It will also cause the fire to spread.

You can keep your household warm this winter without starting a housefire. Follow these tips!

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