Winter is usually the time when you can get together with friends and family, gather around the fireplace or keep warm with space heaters, and celebrate the holidays. However, despite freezing temperatures, it’s also a time when you are exposed to more fire hazards.
Keep safe this winter and make the most of your time with family and friends by putting some safety measures into place. Below, we list some of your home’s most common winter fire hazards. We’ll also share some fire safety tips so you and your family can enjoy your time together while staying safe.
Common Winter Fire Hazards
Lower temperatures in the winter mean you and your family spend more time indoors. However, the heating, cooking, and space enhancements you use to keep yourselves warm and comfortable may also create more fire hazards than you might realize. This is why you hear many stories about heating causing fires around this time.
The following are some of the most common winter fire hazards in Minnetonka, MN:
- Natural Gas Leaks – gas pipes constantly expand and contract because of temperature changes. When corrosion is present, the integrity of the pipes is compromised, which can lead to leaking as they expand or contract. These can be detected using soapy water to look for the formation of bubbles.
- Overloaded Electrical Sockets – overloaded sockets are a leading cause of house fires around wintertime. This occurs when multiple connections are made on a single socket and is most common around this time when family members spend most of their time indoors.
- Space Heaters – one of the most convenient ways to stay warm inside a room with poor heating or insulation. But when improperly used, they can also be one of the most destructive and have been identified as a leading cause of home fires, according to the National Fire Protection Association.
- Faulty Furnaces – poorly maintained furnaces can create conditions that pose a significant fire risk. For instance, the buildup of dust and small debris is flammable, which can catch fire given enough heat.
- Cooking – the holiday season is also a season of cooking. With such a busy kitchen, a minor accident can just as easily cause a fire accident involving grease and other flammable kitchen ingredients.
- Dried Out Holiday Trees – holiday trees are popular around this time of year. These trees dry out as days go by and become a fire hazard. This risk is amplified when surrounded by light materials, such as gift wrappers and curtains, which can quickly catch fire.
- Candles – scented candles are popular during the holiday season for setting the mood. However, they are also easy to knock over and come in contact with light, flammable materials, creating a fire hazard.
Home Fire Safety Tips This Winter
With more people wanting to stay warm, winter becomes the busiest time of the year for space heaters, furnaces, and other heat generators. However, there are also many instances of these devices for heating causing fires. When using these devices, pay close attention to your surroundings and be more vigilant to prevent house fires. Here are some home fire safety tips to remember this winter:
- Do not run cords under mats and carpeting to eliminate friction.
- Avoid octopus connections. Only one plug should be used per socket.
- Do not leave burning candles unattended.
- Keep space heaters at least 3 feet away from furniture, drapes, sheets, and other flammable materials.
- Dispose of gift wrappers, scrap papers, and other light materials properly.
- Keep candles away from curtains, sheets, lamp shades, and other flammable objects.
- Do not use flammable liquids when starting a fire indoors.
- Make sure your fireplace is completely out before going to sleep.
- Turn off space heaters when no one is in the room.
- Maintain your fire safety equipment, so they are ready for use at all times.
- Install a smoke detector on every level.
- Develop an emergency evacuation plan and discuss it with your family.
Your Partner in Fire Damage Cleanup and Restoration
Practicing fire safety is always the best way to prevent instances of heating causing fires during the winter. However, it is also true that accidents can happen at any time. When you’re faced with these unfortunate events this season, call Restoration 1 of Minnetonka. Our restoration experts can assist you with fire damage cleanup and will help you restore your property to its original condition as quickly as possible.