As the weather gets cooler, the possibility of a house fire grows. During the colder months, many people light candles, build fires, use heating blankets, and other activities that could pose fire risks to their house or apartment. This season, follow these tips from Handyman Pro to prevent and protect your home from fire hazards.
Don’t use free-standing candles
While these long candles may look great for the winter ambiance, they pose a serious fire hazard. Everyone knows you shouldn’t leave a candle burning unattended – but even the best of intentions sometimes goes awry. Opt instead for candles in glass jars. Even though these should still be supervised when they’re lit – like all candles! – it’s safer to have the fire contained in these, rather than sitting out.
Check your alarm system!
This is a no-brainer but it’s a little detail that can slip many homeowners minds. Check that the fire alarm is functioning by pressing the TEST button on the back side. If you hear a beeping, it means you need to change the batteries. It’s possible you disconnected the alarm the last time the batteries ran out so it would stop beeping…if that’s the case, add more batteries ASAP! According to the American Red Cross, having
a working smoke alarm reduces your chances of dying in a fire by half.
Use a screen for your fireplace
Embers from the fire can pop and crackle, and logs can even roll out of the fireplace. Use a mesh screen to catch all the embers and to keep the fire contained. Fires should always be supervised. Using a mesh screen in addition to constant supervision is a best practice when enjoying a crackling fire during the holiday season.
Cook more safely
According to the American Red Cross, in the US, home fires are more likely to start in your kitchen than in any other room in your home. Especially during the time of the year when food is most abundant, be aware of some safe cooking practices. You can avoid kitchen fires by being attentive, staying aware when frying, grilling or boiling food, and clearing the counters of any things that can catch fire like potholders and towels. If you have elderly folks with dementia or memory loss staying in your home this holiday season, pay particular attention when they’re in the kitchen – they may forget to turn off the stove or oven. And especially remember to never pour water on a grease fire! Instead, put the lid on the pot, use baking soda, or grab a fire extinguisher.
Get rid of frayed cords
It may be cold but that is not an excuse to bring out the electric blanket with the frayed cord! Old or faulty wiring on heating pads and electric blankets can pose a serious fire hazard. And never ever sleep with an electric heating product.
As winter sets in, trust the home care experts at Handyman Pro to protect your home with these tips at using fire safely at home and limiting its potential danger with preventative measures like fire alarms, fire extinguishers and better cooking practices.
Handyman Pro is your home protection and improvement expert!