Taking a few precautions can have a tremendous effect on the future of your home. Protect your family by following these simple fire safety tips for Holidays, Winter, and Summer.
Make sure your Christmas tree stays well hydrated. Check lighting cords for breaks or frays. Unplug any Christmas lights when going away or sleeping.
Costumes and Decorations:
Use flame-resistant materials. Avoid costumes with long hair or robes that could easily brush up against a candle. Do not place cornstalks, crepe paper, dried flowers or other paper materials near a heat source -not even a light bulb. Above all, do not block exits with decorations.
If you must display candles, put them in a sturdy, non-combustible holder. Avoid putting them in doors or windows where there may be a breeze. Candles cause thousands of home fires a year. Candle fires have almost tripled in just the last 15 years.
Keep pets, children and flammable items away from the grill. Never use a grill inside -it could start a fire or cause carbon monoxide poisoning. Be sure to always use starter fluids, not gasoline, and don’t add liquid fuel to re-ignite. When finished, soak the coals with water before throwing them away.
Other Home Fire-Proofing Tips:
Don’t allow tree branches to hang over your roof and clean gutters and eaves regularly to avoid debris buildup. Be sure that all firewood is stored away from the home and keep flammable liquids in a safe place away from combustibles. Always supervise trash fires and have a hose ready.
Winter is the worst season for home fires. More than 1/3 of fire deaths in the U.S. take place during the winter months. When the temperatures drop and your home heats up, follow these steps:
- Ensure that your heaters are correctly installed, maintained and operated. Purchase heaters that have been approved by a testing laboratory.
- Do not leave portable space heaters unattended and keep them at least 36 inches away from flammable items such as furniture or clothing.
- Clean heating equipment regularly.
- Use a fireplace screen and do not burn paper in fireplaces -it can float up and catch the roof on fire.
- Never substitute any liquid fuel in space heaters; only add fuel when the heater is cold.
- Don’t store flammable materials near a furnace or water heater.