The risk of house fires goes up during the winter months due to many factors, such as increased time in the kitchen, improper use of heating devices, and even certain decorations. LaPointe Construction Board Up Service will always be there for you if you need us to restore your home after the devastation of a fire, but we also find it imperative to spread awareness about how to prevent fires in the first place. The following information can help you lower your risk of a house fire this winter.
Cooking is by far the most frequent cause of house fires, according to fire statistics collected by the US fire department. Since most people use their stoves more frequently during the busy winter months, following these tips can reduce their risk of a fire starting.
- Keep any potentially flammable items away from your stove when it’s in use. This includes dishtowels, napkins, and cookbooks. Cooking oils can spatter on these items or they can catch on fire if they’re too close to your stove burners.
- Never leave any pot or pan unattended while cooking on your stovetop.
- Keep a fire extinguisher that’s rated for all types of fires near your kitchen and check at least once a year to make sure it’s working properly.
- Most people use their ovens more frequently during the winter, between baking goodies for parties, cooking large dinners for guests, and celebrating holidays. This can lead to a build-up of crumbs and grease in the bottom of your oven. Ensure that you wipe your oven out regularly to prevent this buildup from igniting.
Heating is another common cause of home fires in the winter time. Most of the time these issues have an easy fix that involves paying attention to your heating source’s placement.
- Keep heating vents clear of any obstructions. Make sure curtains or drapes are several inches above any vents.
- Have your heater inspected annually to ensure that’s in proper working order.
- Change your furnace filter at least once a month during the cold seasons. This will also help your furnace run more efficiently.
- If you use one or more space heaters, make sure you leave at least a foot of room between the space heater and anything else in the room. Never place anything on top of the space heater.
Decorating is a beloved tradition for the winter holidays but certain facets of decorating can increase your home’s risk of fire. Take care when placing your decorations to take into account the following tips.
- Inspect your holiday light strands when you take them out of storage. Over time, the wires of holiday lights can began to fray, wear out, or be subject to damage by pests. Also carefully check for broken or burned out lights. If you notice any defects, toss and replace the entire strand.
- If you’re using a live Christmas tree, ensure that you properly maintain the tree. Keep a sufficient level of water in the tree’s container and discard the tree promptly after the holiday is over.
- Candles can add a warm glow to any room, but they also present a potential hazard. Never leave burning candles unattended, and always ensure that any candles are extinguished before you go to bed or leave the house. Ensure that any flammable items are kept far away from burning candles.
Electrical fires are less common than they used to be but it’s still important to be vigilant about any warning signs you may notice.
- Take care not to overload outlets. By the same token, don’t plug too many electronic devices or appliances into a single extension cord.
- During the colder months, rodents take shelter inside the walls of buildings, and can damage electrical wires due to their nesting efforts. Signs of a rodent infestation include chewed insulation and droppings.
- If you notice certain lights flickering on multiple occasions, it would be beneficial to have the wiring checked by an electrician.
If your home has been damaged by a fire and you need restoration services, contact LaPointe Construction Board Up Service for compassionate and comprehensive professional assistance. Our technicians have extensive experience with fire damage restoration and can walk you through the process to help you regain your sense of control. We’re here for you no matter when you need us to help. Call LaPointe Construction Board Up Service today at (978) 447-5991. You can also find more tips for preventing fire, water, and other types of damage to your home by following us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/LaPointeConstruction/.
US Fire Administration Statistics https://www.usfa.fema.gov/data/statistics/#tab-1