Wintertime is upon us, which means the risk of a home fire is at its highest. This is because most households use the home heating system, fireplace or space heater far more often. Fortunately, there are safety tips you can implement to ensure your home is properly protected.
Important winter fire safety tips
By understanding what has the highest chance of starting a fire and properly ensuring each heating unit works the way it should, you and your family can stay comfortable and safe. The following are four important fire safety tips for your home this winter.
Schedule a chimney inspection
The fireplace is a great way to keep the home comfortable and warm during cold nights, but it is also one of the main reasons home fires are more prevalent in the winter. You can enjoy a safe fireplace this winter by making sure it is properly inspected and cleaned. While many homeowners believe they are capable of cleaning the chimney themselves, it is best to call a professional for the best results.
Use your fireplace safely
Regardless of the type of fireplace you use, it is essential to use it safely and consider the following safety tips:
Use a protective screen
Keep wood stove doors closed
Keep flammable items away
Tell children to stay 3 ft. away
A protective screen significantly reduces the chance of a fire; a metal or tempered glass screen works best. Also, keep flammable items out of reach of the fireplace, and tell children not to get too close to ensure they are not harmed or accidentally start a fire. For wood stoves, ensure the door is closed unless adding wood or stirring up the wood.
Check and service your furnace
The furnace is the part of your HVAC unit that is responsible for generating heat. Naturally, it is a safety hazard if it is not in proper condition and all connecting parts are in good condition as well. Similar to a chimney inspection, a furnace inspection and servicing is best left to a professional, such as an HVAC technician. During the HVAC visit, you should also have the technician check and test the smoke alarms and replace any that do not work.
Use space heaters properly
Space heaters are one of the primary causes of winter home fires. The location of the space heater is a very important determination for homeowners. Many who experience a home fire as a result of a space heater underestimate its power, and it may cause flammable material within a three feet radius to catch on fire. Therefore, make a protective area around the space heater. Make sure any extension cords are not within reach as well.
The bottom line
Home fires during the winter can be prevented by being mindful of how your home is heated. Create a protective area around any warming devices, including space heaters and fireplaces, along with having the furnace checked and serviced by a professional. By doing so, you can stay warm, comfortable and safe this winter.
Annette Masterson is a licensed broker with EXIT Realty Bob Lamb & Associates in Murfreesboro, TN. She has developed one of the most successful real estate teams in Rutherford County, known as Masterson Network, that specializes in new home construction and residential listings and sales throughout Middle Tennessee. You can email Annette at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her at 615-896-5656 (Office) or 615-533-1660 (Cell) for more information.