Preparing Your Home for Fire Season

Monday, 28 October 2019 16:15

As you’re gearing up for the holiday season, don’t forget to prepare your home for fire season. It’s not as cheery and merry, we know, but it is essential in keeping your family and property safe. While house fires can occur at any time of year, there is a spike in December and January. Space heaters, electric blankets, woodstoves and fireplaces, Christmas trees and lights that are used improperly or exposed to flammable materials can catch fire; and because there is less moisture in the air, our homes are drier. This makes it easier for a fire to spread. 

 

How can you protect yourself, your family, and your home?

  • Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. The National Fire Protection Association recommends that you install detectors inside every bedroom, outside every sleeping area (e.g. in the hallway), and on every level of your home. If you need to add more, do so now, and test the batteries in your existing detectors.
  • Practice with your children. Don’t scare them, but do teach them what to do in case of a fire. Test the alarm so they know what it sounds like and then practice leaving the home. Show your children (and other household members) two ways to get out of every room in case one is blocked. Establish a meeting spot outside your home. Teach your children to escape the house immediately: no stopping to grab items. Their job is to get out. You can call 911 from outside.
  • Stop, drop, and roll. If clothing catches on fire, do not run. This will fan the flames, so to speak. Instead, smother the fire: stop, drop, and roll. 

Practice saves lives. If you do have a real emergency, it will help your children remember what to do.

  • Add fire and emergency services to your security system. In addition to detectors, you can opt for a panic button. Hit it, and we’ll get firefighters dispatched immediately. 
  • Get your furnace serviced. Heating equipment is the biggest cause of home fires in the winter. Before the cold weather sets in, call for a tune-up and cleaning. This will ensure it’s both ready and safe to use. If you heat with wood, have your chimney cleaned.
  • Be careful with space heaters. Two out of five fires are started by a space heater. If you use one, make sure it has an automatic shut-off.  If it tips over, it will stop operating before it can start a fire.
  • Remove objects from around the heat source. Whether you use a wood stove, fireplace (always use the screen), or space heaters, clear the zone! Keep furniture, clothing, bedding, and other flammable materials at least three feet from the heat source. 
  • Don’t run your holiday lights all day. This can increase the odds of a fire (and drive up your utility bill!). Additionally, do not connect more than three strands of lights, consider switching to LED, look for UL certification, and you use outdoor-specific lights. Inside, make sure your Christmas tree is well-hydrated. Those dry needles become like kindling, and a light malfunction can be catastrophic. 
  • Watch the candles. The soft glow of candles is peaceful in the winter - but candles are another leading cause of winter house fires. Do not leave them burning unattended and keep them at least a foot away from flammable objects. 

Integrity Security is committed to your safety. We want you to enjoy the winter season - but prepare for the fire season. If you have questions about fire and emergency services options for your security, system, don’t hesitate to get in touch