During the cold winter months in Ohio and Kentucky, there is a greater risk of house fires. The increase in fires tends to stem from people being careless and not realizing that they are putting their homes and their lives in danger. December through March tend to be the most dangerous months.
Fortunately, understanding the threats and how to reduce your risk can help to keep your home safer from fires. Below are some of the major threats and how to avoid a fire on your property.
Around two-thirds of the fires in homes are caused by problems with heating equipment like supplemental space heaters. These devices, even though they might seem convenient, have a risk attached to them. They can get extremely hot and errant items like a blanket, wrapping paper, clothing, etc. could catch fire and spread. Electrical issues can arise from these heaters also. Worn or damaged cords can also be a hazard. Ideally, you can eliminate the use of these in your home. Find better and safer ways to keep warm.
If you use a traditional fireplace for that added warmth, you need to be just as careful. Make sure you’ve had the chimney cleaned, and always pay attention to the fire when it is burning. Do not allow a fire to burn overnight or when you aren’t in the home. Always use a fireplace screen to prevent sparks and flying embers from igniting something flammable in the room.
Candles are great. They can set the mood and provide a nice scent. However, you have to be just as careful with candles as you are with heaters and a fireplace. Only burn them when you are in the room with them. Make sure they aren’t where children can touch them and where your pets will not knock them over. An open flame of any kind demands special attention. Precaution with candles will ensure you can enjoy them without allowing them to burn your house down.
Cooking accidents are one of the major causes of fires in the home. These types of fires can occur for many reasons. In some cases, someone might leave the cooking unattended. Depending on what’s being cooked and how long it is unattended, there is a huge risk. For example, deep fryers that are often used for cooking turkeys around the holidays are highly dangerous. We’ve all seen videos of these fryers overflowing when the turkey is added, spilling oil that catches on fire.
When you are cooking, simply be careful. Pay attention to what you are doing. Don’t drink while cooking, and always make sure you don’t leave anything unattended.
Those who celebrate Christmas will often bring a tree into the home as part of their family tradition. They will decorate the tree, making it beautiful and a perfect place for all of those presents. However, we all know that trees are flammable and that they will die and dry out over time. When they get dry, those needles can catch fire easily.
If you are going to bring a tree into the home, make sure you are using good lights with undamaged wires. Be sure to water the tree, as well, to keep it green for as long as possible. Don’t place it close to a heater, fireplace, or any candles. There shouldn’t be any open flames near the tree. Again, you want to be safe rather than sorry.
What If You Have a Fire?
Hindsight is 20/20. You can’t prevent a fire that’s already occurred, but you can have the damage to your home repaired. You will need to work with a professional fire restoration company to help get your home back in good shape, of course. Once the repairs are complete, keep in mind the dangers covered above, so you can find ways to mitigate these threats in the future.