House fire safety tips are common sense for any time of the year, but before the winter months, consider hiring a licensed electrician to check your systems so that your heater runs smoothly and you don’t need to resort to fire and candles for warmth.
Check out thee simple tips to avoid winter hazard.
Still, with colder months upon us, it’s easy to see how the danger increases with the setting of wood-burning heaters and the use of candles to create a cozy atmosphere. Most fires start in the kitchen and are caused by forgetfulness.
You set something on the stove and then get distracted. It’s part of daily life—it happens quickly!
Heaters are the second most common cause of a house blaze, and, of course, the risk of these increases in the winter months when we find ourselves trying to warm up just a bit. Granted, extreme cold in Texas is not common. Still, many people heat smaller rooms with portable heaters — be careful and don’t leave them unattended.
According to licensed electricians, to further protect your home, be wary of faulty wiring, especially if you live in an older house.
Signs that your wiring needs an upgrade include lights dimming when you use appliances or regularly trip and have to reset circuit breakers. If this is true — call a professional.September in Texas, but winter lay ahead; here is a list of ten safety tips to ensure you and your family stay safe.
House Fire Safety Tips
- Have smoke alarms. Test them regularly. Ensure the battery is in good condition. Establish a habit of changing the batteries twice a year when you change the clock. Consider a monitored fire alarm system.
- Have a chimney? If you use it, make sure its airflow is unobstructed. If it is obstructed or the vent is inoperative, smoke will pour into your house. Also, collected dirt and soot inside may catch fire. Chimneys should be cleaned annually.
Electric Blankets and Portable Heaters
- You want to stay warm, but you don’t want to burn the gas. Consider an electric blanket. Already have some? Make sure it isn’t old, the wires frayed. Frayed electrical wires spark easily and can inflame the blanket with you in it. If you are in doubt, throw it out.
- Portable heaters are a great cold weather solution. Don’t place them near curtains or tablecloths. If you need to dry clothes, don’t drape them over the heater. Place them at a minimum of three feet from the heater.
- Portable heaters draw a lot of power. Overloading electrical circuits is a risk. Be mindful of plugging more than two electrical appliances into one outlet. Disconnect appliances that are not in use.
Only Licensed Electricians Need Apply
- Have your circuit breaker panel inspected (by a licensed electrician) if you have an old home — it may be outdated and a fire risk.
- Hire licensed electricians because they are certified for their skills, knowledge, and experience.
- Defective appliances are dangerous. The greatest appliance danger is the laundry. Check your dryer’s lent filter often but don’t forget about the vent. Lint burns easily, so make sure your vent is lint-free.
- Candles create ambiance but quickly cause fires if left unattended. They’re great in the living room or having a soak in the bath alone or accompanied. But when the romance is out, don’t forget the candles.
- Kids and matches are not a good combination — ask my husband. Always stow matches, lighters, and fireplace lighters out of the reach of children.
- Never leave cooking unattended, especially if you’re deep frying. Look up the videos on fat fires from frying turkeys; it gets out of control quickly.
Always remember, I am never more than a phone call or a text away — Just. Call. Carmen.