Fire Safety Tips for the Home: Dangers to Avoid as Outdoor Temperatures Fall and Indoor Rise
#1 Furnace Checkup
It is a good idea to have your furnace inspected by a technician before you start using it for the colder weather.
This is smart for both fire safety reasons, as well as from an efficiency standpoint. What happens is dust can build up causing airflow to be limited, which can potentially cause your furnace to overheat.
#2 Chimney Maintenance
If you plan on starting some cozy fires in your fireplace this year, it is a good idea to have your flue inspected before starting your first fire of the season.
This is particularly important when you burn wood. Creosote, which is an oily liquid used on wood to preserve it, can build up and become a very serious fire risk. It is best to use wood that is seasoned and has been allowed to dry for at least 12 months.
#3 Space Heater Safety
People like to use space heaters because they can heat up a small area very quickly. It is estimated that every year nearly three-fourths of fire deaths related to heating equipment are related to these “mighty” warmers.
Always be sure to keep flammable materials at least 3 feet away from a space heater.
If you are not sure if a material is flammable, keep it away. Also make sure that you are using the right grade of fuel for liquid-fueled heaters, and only plug them into outlets with enough capacity. Of course, space heaters heat quickly and can cause contact burns. Keep children away from space heaters.
#4 Kid Checkup
Keeping kids safe from home heating equipment is essential. Kids are curious critters and regardless of knowing that something is dangerous, they may still be drawn to test things out. Here are some tips to help keep them safe:
- Keep matches for fireplaces out of children’s reach, preferably locked in a cabinet.
- Never allow children to be near lighted candles.
- Avoid letting your child play near a space heater.
#5 Fire Safety Cardinal Rule
Accidents do happen in homes when it comes to heating equipment. If you experience a fire in your home, you have only seconds to escape safely.
The best step you can take to prevent your family from getting caught in a fire is to install smoke detectors as outlined by your country or town ordinances. You should also have a family escape plan and practice it at least twice a year.
Enjoy snuggling with your family as the cold wind blows. Remember to keep fire danger in your mind at all times.