Fire damaged houses spike in the winter for a variety of reasons so here are some tips to avoid fires this winter season as well as general tips for the year.
- Avoid placing combustible objects (example: trash, newspapers and rags) away from your fireplace, stove or heater.
- Make sure that portable space heater have a UL mark on them because this means that the heater has a safety switch that turns the heater off if it tips over.
- Your fireplace needs a secure screen that will prevent sparks from flying out in to the room.
- Make annual maintenance repairs to your chimney and have it cleaned because the build up of creosote in the chimney can catch fire and cause major damage to your home.
- Grease fires are some of the most common fires so please keep your stove clean so that grease can not build up and ignite. If you have a grease fire, do not spray water on it for this will only spread the fire. The safest option is to evacuate the house because it takes a lot of baking powder to extinguish a fire. If the fire is only in the skillet, cover the skillet with a lid but be careful when using a glass pan because that can break from the pressure of the heat.
- As always, smoking inside causes many potentially dangerous situations. Always check your furniture for smoldering cigarette butts and be sure that cigarettes are fully extinguished when done smoking. Do not smoke late at night when you could potentially fall asleep with a lit cigarette.