Fire Safety Tips You Need to Know
Holidays, memories, and seasonal fire hazards abound during the winter months. 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. You can keep your Sammamish home and family safe by equipping yourself with basic winter fire safety. These simple tips can keep common causes of winter fires at bay and ensure an enjoyable season for you.
A crackling fire really makes winter nights extra cozy. But fireplaces should be used carefully and cleaned regularly to keep flames where should remain. 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. When you start with a clean fireplace, you ensure that your fire will keep you warm safely each time.
As you clean your fireplace, you should also check that the damper is working properly and is open before you light your kindling. Doing this will ensure proper ventilation and prevent smoke from filling up your home. You should never leave a fire unattended and you should keep children and pets safely at a distance as well. Finally, you have to take precautions when you remove ashes and unburned wood from a fireplace. Hot coals can hide under ashes for up to three days so it’s a good practice to stir ashes carefully and test for heat before you start 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. Open flames can improve the mood in your home, but they must always be used cautiously. According to the National Fire Protection Association, candles start an average of 7,610 home structure fires each year. Always keep candles away from flammables like curtains, houseplants, and home decor items to keep the risk of fire low. You should also remember not to move a candle that has melted wax pooling in the center, and do not leave lit candles unattended. If you do this, your candle-lit evenings will always be safe.
Winter also means holidays filled with special meals. But with all that cooking, it also means kitchen fires become much more common in these winter months. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, there are more than 189,000 cooking fires in the U.S. each year. The main culprits of these fires are kitchen appliances left unattended.
To keep kitchen fires from ruining your holidays, make sure you are in the kitchen at all times when simmering or baking food. It is also helpful to set a timer to remind yourself to remove food from the stove or oven once you’re done cooking. Since most cooking fires begin on stovetops, you should keep flammable objects such as dish towels and other fabrics away from your stove before you turn the burners on. Clean up spills or overflowing food immediately and use pots and pans that are in good condition.
If your holiday cooking involves frying, you should be extra careful around hot oil. Boiling water or oil should not be left unattended and you must always have 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.
Follow these simple tips to avoid the season’s common fire hazards. Would you like to learn more safety tips for renters? We can help! Call 425-209-0252 to speak with a professional Sammamish property manager today.
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