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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

4 Tips to Prevent Fire Damage During the Cold Weather Season  

1/29/2019 (Permalink)

Did you know there are more fires during the Winter months than any other time of the year? During the cold weather season, it makes sense that people are looking for extra ways to keep warm.  Unfortunately, many alternative heating methods can also be fire hazards, especially when they’re not approached with care.

If you want to protect your home and/or business from fire damage during this cold weather season, here are 4 tips to keep in mind:

Know the Dangers of Fireplaces and Wood Burning Stoves

Sitting in front of a fire on a cold winter’s night may sound cozy – unfortunately, a large percentage of fires start with issues to a chimney or fireplace.

  • Shield the fireplace with a grate to prevent flying sparks from igniting in the room.
  • Keep any flammable materials at least 4 feet away from the fire place.
  • Perform regular maintenance and cleaning on your fireplace and/or wood burning stove.
  • Make sure there are no cracks in your chimney and that the top is properly capped to keep out debris throughout the year.

Know the Dangers of Space Heaters

Space heaters are wonderful for keeping us extra warm on cold days. But this extra heating equipment is also a major cause of winter house fires.

  • Use only space heaters with a “tip switch,” ones that shut off automatically if tipped over.
  • Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s safety instructions.
  • Keep the space heater at least 3 feet away from anything flammable.
  • Make sure there is adequate ventilation and base/floor support in the areas where you will use a space heater.

Know the Dangers of Electric Blankets

On a cold night, it’s comforting to curl up in a warm bed.  However, if you want to use an electric blanket, make sure to be cautious – these can quickly catch fire if the blanket material is ignited by an overheated electrical element within the blanket.

  • Check for charred or frayed cords or any dark spots, these may indicate a potential problem with the electrical element.
  • Don’t allow anyone or anything on top of the blanket when it is in use, this could lead to overheating.
  • Similarly, don’t fold or tuck in the blanket when it is in use, as this could also lead to overheating.
  • An electric blanket should never be left unattended or used while one is sleeping.

Make Sure Your Smoke Alarms are Working

If a fire accident should happen, you want to make sure your smoke alarms are in working order, so that you can address the issue immediately.

It’s generally a good idea to regularly check the alarms each year (many people remember to check the alarms on the days when daylight savings time changes).  However, it’s also wise to double-check the alarms before you start a fire or use a heating element, just in case.

These tips can help make sure you, your property, and your family all stay safe during the cold weather season when we’re all trying to stay warm. If, however, you do experience a fire accident, know that SERVPRO of Eatontown / Long Branch is here to help. We pride ourselves on being “faster to any disaster,” no matter the size. And we can help you get back to normal ASAP!

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