Fire Safety Tips You Need to Know
Winter months mean holidays, memories — and, unfortunately, seasonal fire hazards. Since people light more candles and use fireplaces and kitchen appliances more during winter months, there are also more chances of residential fires this time of the year. It helps to know some winter fire safety fundamentals so you can keep your Winter Garden home and family safe. Keep these simple tips in mind so you can avoid the common causes of winter fires and have an enjoyable season.
A crackling fire is just what you need for a cozy winter night. This is why you must make sure your fireplaces are used carefully and cleaned often to ensure there are no stray flames. One of the most important safety tips for using a fireplace is to clean it thoroughly before each use. Sparks from hazards such as ashes, built-up soot, and debris can cause burns and property damage. Also, starting with a clean fireplace will ensure that you’ll be safe each time you warm yourself up.
While you are cleaning your fireplace, check that the damper is working properly and is open before lighting your kindling. Doing this will ensure proper ventilation and prevent smoke from filling up your home. Once the fire is lit, you should not leave it unattended. Children and pets should also be kept at a safe distance. Finally, be careful when removing ashes and unburned wood from a fireplace. Coals hiding under ashes could stay hot for up to three days so it’s best to stir ashes carefully and test for heat before scooping them out. Don’t forget the annual chimney sweep as well. This will help avoid the build-up of creosote deposits.
Candles, like fireplaces, are also a very common cause of residential fires. Although open flames can evoke a comfortable ambiance in your home, they should be used cautiously. According to the National Fire Protection Association, candles start an average of 7,610 home structure fires each year. To keep the risk of fire low, candles should be kept a safe distance away from any flammable material like curtains, houseplants, and home decor items. You should also never move a candle that still has melted wax pooling in the center as well as leaves any lit candle unattended. This way you can safely enjoy your candle-lit evenings.
Many of our winter holidays are associated with scrumptious feasts. However, all that cooking also means that kitchen fires become much more common during winter. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, there are more than 189,000 cooking fires in the U.S. each year. Most of these fires are from food or kitchen appliances left unattended.
To avoid kitchen fires during the holidays, be sure to stay in the kitchen the entire time you are simmering or baking food. It is also important to set a timer so you will remember to remove food from the stove or oven once you are done cooking. Most cooking fires start on stovetops so make sure your flammable objects, including dish towels and other fabrics, are kept away from the stove before any burners are turned on. Cleaning up spills or overflowing food and using pots and pans in good condition also help minimize fire risks.
If your cooking plans include frying, you should use extra caution around hot oil. Do not leave boiling water or oil unattended, and keep a pot lid nearby. If ever the oil starts to flame up, covering the pot with the lid, turning off the heat, and allowing the stove and pot to cool will stop it right away.
By following these tips, your winter season can be free from common fire hazards. Would you like to learn more safety tips for renters? We can help! Call 407-982-2000 to speak with a professional Winter Garden property manager today.
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