A house fire can be one of the most terrifying and traumatizing experiences you can face. Not only does it put your life and the life of your family at risk, but it has the potential to take away your family home and cost you a lot of money down the line.
Most people find themselves in this terrifying situation during the winter months. For this reason, it is important to keep some winter fire safety tips in mind this season.
Here are some ways to help prevent a winter fire from starting in your home this year.
What Are The Risks?
House fires are most common during the winter, with the numbers peaking between December and January. The statistics show that Saturday and Sunday are the most common days for a house fire. The peak hours are between 6:00 and 7:00 PM. Most house fires start in the kitchen. Even if you leave the house for two minutes, a fire from your stovetop can quickly grow out of hand during this time.
What Makes Winter More Dangerous?
There is no one exact reason why house fires happen more often in the winter, but professionals have made some pretty convincing guesses. For example, many people use space heaters and fireplaces more often in the winter. This additional heat source provides more chances of a fire starting.
Additionally, more people use lights and outlets during the winter months, especially December. Stringing up a Christmas tree or adding some pretty lighting to your living room forces you to use more outlets, increasing the electrical fire chances.
Winter Fire Safety Tips
Even though you cannot completely control fires and when they start, you can be proactive in your prevention plan. Here are some winter fire safety tips for the season. These fire safety tips are based on the most common causes of fires during the winter.
Tips for Wood-Burning Appliances
Wood-burning appliances include a fireplace or wood stove. These appliances are a great way to stay warm and cozy during the cold. Not to mention, they provide a great place to cuddle up with your loved ones and family.
When using a wood-burning appliance, ensure that the chimney is cleaned and inspected annually. This gives the smoke a proper place to go, helping to prevent the chances of a fire starting. It also will help those with breathing problems since less excess smoke is caught within the house.
Keep all flammable items three feet minimum away from the wood-burning appliances. You can’t always control where flames go. Make sure that they are far enough from any other items to not catch on fire.
Flammable liquids are great for a giant bonfire or camping experience, but they are dangerous within your home. They can easily make fires grow uncontrollably and catch your house on fire. Do not use flammable liquid within your wood-burning appliances.
Since flames are so uncontrollable, it’s smart to put a glass or metal screen on the front of the fireplace. This helps to prevent any ashes or embers from getting into your room. Not only does this prevent fires, but it makes cleaning up much easier.
Finally, do not allow wood-burning appliances to run while you are not in the room with them. It only takes a matter of mere seconds for a fire to go out of control. Whenever you go to bed or leave the house, ensure that the fire is thoroughly put out.
Many people have a gas furnace instead of a wood-burning appliance. Gas furnaces help to keep your entire home warm during the coldest time of year. Gas furnaces are not as dangerous as fire burning appliances, but you still need to be cautious when using them.
Get the furnace inspected frequently. This keeps it in working condition, ensuring that it is safe enough for your home and loved ones. Check the walls, ceiling, and chimney line specifically. If you see that the wall feels hot or looks discolored, add more pipe insulation.
Also, make sure the flue pipe and pipe seam do not include holes or cracks. If you see any soot, there may be a leak.
Lastly, place any combustible items far away from the heating system. It can get very hot. Do not risk them exploding, thanks to the residual heat from the gas furnace.
Here are a few more miscellaneous tips to keep in mind for keeping your home safe this winter:
- Do not use a cooking oven or stove to heat your home. This may start a fire, and it can lead to carbon monoxide build-up.
- Do not use electric heaters in rooms with high water usage. This includes a bathroom, kitchen, or laundry room.
- Do not plug multiple electric heaters into a wall outlet. This may cause overloading the circuit.
- Do not thaw frozen water pipes by using a blowtorch or open flame. The pipe may act as a conductor, causing the wall structure to catch on fire.
- Do not plug too many appliances into an extension cord. Lookout for any signs of overuse, including a burning smell or discoloration.
- Come up with a fire escape plan so that the entire family knows what to do in the case of an emergency.
- Purchase emergency escape ladders for safe exit through windows.
After A Fire
After the fire, expect for there to be substantial fire and potential water damage. Contact a professional for Santa Rosa Beach restoration that offers both water and fire restoration in Santa Rosa Beach services. Obviously, a fire would lead to fire damage, but it can cause water damage, thanks to the firefighters’ hoses.
If hoses were used to put out the fire, look for restoration companies that cover any water damage in Santa Rosa Beach Florida. This includes mold remediation.
A house fire is no joke, and they’re most likely to happen during the winter months. Incorporate the tips above to keep your home safe and happy this winter season.
If you need help restoring your home after a fire, call 850-660-1473 for a free estimate today.