Reducing Winter Fire Risks With Some Simple Steps

The holidays are a time for celebrating. However, they also bring higher risks with regard to residential fires. In fact, the ten worst days for residential fires occur between December 24 and January 6, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Fortunately, homeowners can reduce Winter Fire Risks by taking some basic steps.

Chimneys

Any buildup or blockage in a chimney may bring about a fire. If the chimney hasn't been cleaned in the past two years, don't light a fire. Have it inspected first. Only use dry wood so creosote doesn't build up in the chimney and kindling needs to be the preferred lighting material. Finally, ensure ashes are completely cool when cleaning the fireplace and put them in a metal container.

Cooking

Almost half of the residential fires begin in the kitchen. Stay alert at all times when preparing food and never place flammable items near the cooking area. Don't leave the kitchen when food is cooking and turn off any equipment if you do have to leave the room.

Christmas Trees

A Christmas Tree is often the focal point of the home during the holidays. Sadly, both artificial and live trees come with a high fire risk. Keep the tree a minimum of three feet from a heat source and water a live-cut tree daily. Any lights with worn or frayed cords should be discarded and never leave the tree lit at bedtime. These are only a few of the many ways to prevent a fire associated with a Christmas tree this year.

Children

Kids are curious by nature. Parents need to be vigilant this time of year to ensure they don't accidentally start a fire while exploring. Keep lighters and matches out of their reach and never let them play with the tree lights or power cords.

Candles

Candles are a leading cause of residential fires, so blow out Candles before going to bed. Furthermore, make certain they aren't near flammable items at all times, even when you are awake and in the same room. Finally, only place candles in holders that won't tip over. This is very important in all rooms, but especially in bedrooms, as this is where many fires start.

In the event a fire does occur, contact the insurance company immediately. Prevention is always best, but accidents happen. The insurance company can be of assistance if the worst does occur.

BlogSkyler Barnhart