In Coppell, Frisco, and Plano, this time of year, the temperature begins to drop too much lower temperatures. We tend to spend more time at home with our family and loved ones during winter, cuddling under blankets by the fire. During these colder months, the heat tends to be running, candles are lit, and holiday lights are glowing in the evening. With all winter activities in full swing, your home is at risk for many fire hazards. At Mr. Restore, winter is, unfortunately, our busiest month for fire restoration. In order to keep you and your family safe, we have provided 7 fire safety tips for this winter.
1. Have Your Furnace Checked
Many people believe they can check their furnaces themselves. It is safer, however, to hire a professional to come and inspect your furnace once a year. It's always better to know when something is not working properly than to have it break down when you need heat the most. A faulty or dirty furnace can easily cause a fire, but it can be easily avoided with a simple maintenance check.
2. Check Your Chimneys and Vents
Fireplaces produce creosote, which clings to the inside of your chimney. Unfortunately, creosote is flammable. If you use a wood-burning fireplace, you need an annual chimney inspection. This will help you know that it is not hazardous to start a fire. It's important to remember that when you burn wood, use dry, seasoned wood, which makes safer, beautiful flames with less smoke. Avoid burning pine in your chimney when possible to prevent unwanted fires.
3. Test Your Smoke Alarms
Always double-check that the batteries in your smoke alarms are working correctly. If you tested your smoke alarms in the fall, they should be able to last you through the winter. If you have a hard time remembering the last time you checked your smoke alarms, it is vital that you test them as soon as possible. Make sure there are always smoke alarms in the kitchen, laundry room, and bedrooms. Remember, smoke alarms can save your life!
4. Always Cover Your Fireplace With A Screen
A metal screen or tempered glass will work to protect any sparks from leaving the fireplace. You still always want to make sure to keep kids and pets at least three feet away from a burning fireplace. This will prevent burns, as well as keep from playing in flames. Be sure there are no loose articles of flammable items near your fireplace, including curtains, blankets, or clothing.
5. Use Caution with Candles
Candles are great for setting the mood for a relaxing and calming evening. They can also be knocked over easily by kids or pets. Only light candles when you are alert and there to watch them. Blow them out whenever you intend to leave the room. You should also keep candles at least 12 inches away from flammable, including wood floors, curtains, and decorations.
6. Safely Using Space Heaters
Space heaters require a good amount of space to be used without creating a fire hazard. Children and pets should not sit closer than 3 feet in front of a space heater. Heaters should not be placed near curtains, tablecloths, or other fabrics. Your space heater should always have an automatic shut-off switch. Make sure to plug them into the wall, not an extension cord.
7. Displaying Lights Safely
Although your Christmas tree is a beautiful addition to your home, don't leave your holiday lights running all day or all night. You also should not connect more than three strands of lights together to avoid a fire hazard. Be sure to check the wiring on your lights before putting them up. Finally, remember that a dry Christmas tree is the perfect fuel for an electrical fire. At Mr. Restore, we want your winter to be happy and safe. However, if you end up with fire damage, call us immediately. We will work hard to restore your home so that you can get on enjoying your winter holiday festivities!