Winter Fire Prevention Tips for Your Home
Winter months bring families together in Idaho, and this gives everyone a chance to enjoy the beautiful lights whether at home or as part of a festival or display in downtown Boise. When you’re surrounded by friends and family, amid the general cheer of the holidays, it’s hard to imagine anything going wrong. But, with the abundance of lights, electrical equipment, and Christmas trees, not to mention an actual fire roaring in the fireplace, there are even more reasons to ensure proper fire safety in your household. Here are some ways to deal with the leading fire risks during winter:
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), cooking is the top cause of household fires and injuries. And while your family prepares a great meal for Thanksgiving and Christmas, keep in mind that the NFPA reports those as the leading dates for household cooking fires.
When you’re working in the kitchen, stay focused on what you’re doing and aware of your surroundings — don’t leave the area. Keep away unnecessary items and clutter, especially from the stovetops, and clean the area of grease, dust, and flammable materials. Make sure you disconnect all countertop appliances once you’re done using them.
As you spend more hours at home over the winter season, you’ll need more electricity to keep warm, put on lights, and stay online. Electrical problems may stem from the continued use of outdated wiring — 60-amp systems, aluminum wiring, and two-prong outlets can all carry increased susceptibility to power surges or overheating. Having an electrician inspect your home wiring and outlets can greatly improve your electrical fire safety.
Equipment issues often come down to misuse. Following the directions on the manuals of many appliances will prevent situations arising from improper use that could lead to electrical fires. Extension cords should also be treated as a temporary fixture. If you need more outlets, consider having more power sources installed and don’t overload or stack extension cords.
Candle fires may only contribute to around 3% of home fires, but those numbers tend to rise in the winter as regions like Idaho experience more cold weather. The numbers tend to peak in December at 11% with seasonal decorations adding to the use of candles.
Many candle fires can be prevented with proper attention. A third of these fires originated in the bedroom and led to almost a third of fatalities as well. Avoid leaving candles unattended and blow them out before sleeping. Keep them at least a foot away from anything flammable. Looking into safer alternatives, such as electrical candles, may be preferable if you need to keep the lights on.
When you spend more time indoors during the winter, there’s more time to do household work. A surprising number of home fires started by clothes dryers as they tend to peak in winter, especially January. One common reason why such fires start is improper cleaning and maintenance. Obstruction can be caused by the build-up of lint and other materials over time, and this leads to overheating which turns your dryer into a potential fire hazard. Professional dryer vent cleaning services in Boise can handle the regular inspection and service of your dryer to ensure its continued safe operation.
Certainly, the last thing you want on your mind during the festive season is to worry. Make a simple list of fire safety tips for your home, and everybody can enjoy the cozy indoors or go out together for some fun in the city.