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Keep Your Home Warm this Winter

Fire Safety Tips You Need to Know

Kalamazoo Tenant Warming Their Toes by the Cozy FireplaceTogether with holidays and memories, winter months also bring seasonal fire hazards. Residential fires become more common during the winter months as people use fireplaces, candles, and kitchen appliances more. It is helpful to know the basics of winter fire safety so you can keep your Kalamazoo home and family safe. These simple tips can help you avoid the most common causes of winter fires and help ensure you have a safe and pleasant winter season.

Winter nights become cozier with a crackling fire. However, you should ensure that flames stay where they should be by using your fireplace carefully and cleaning it often. One of the most important safety tips for using a fireplace is to clean it thoroughly before each use. Debris like ashes and built-up soot can become hazards that cause sparks that could result in 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 are cleaning your fireplace, you should also make sure the damper is open and working properly before lighting your kindling. This gives good ventilation and will prevent smoke from filling your home’s interior. Once lit, fires should never be left unattended, and children and pets should be kept at a safe distance. Lastly, be cautious when you remove ashes and unburned wood from a fireplace. Coals hiding under ashes could stay hot for up to three days so it’s best to stir ashes carefully and test for heat before scooping them out. An annual chimney sweep is also very important to keep creosote deposits from building up.

Like fireplaces, candles are another possible source of residential fires. Although open flames can evoke a comfortable ambiance in your home, they should be used cautiously. According to the National Fire Protection Association, candles start an average of 7,610 home structure fires each year. To keep fire risk low, always keep lit candles away from anything flammable like curtains, houseplants, and home decor items. Do not move candles that have melted wax pooling in the center, and never leave a lit candle unattended. This way you can keep your candle-lit nights safe.

It’s no wonder that many of our winter holidays are associated with delicious meals. However, all that cooking also means that kitchen fires become much more common during winter. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, there are more than 189,000 cooking fires in the U.S. each year. Most of these fires are because of unattended food or kitchen appliances.

To ensure that your holidays don’t get ruined by kitchen fires, see to it that you stay in the kitchen at all times while simmering or baking food. A timer will also come in handy to remind you to remove food from the stove or oven when you’re done cooking. Most cooking fires occur on stovetops, so it is best to keep flammable objects (including dish towels and other fabrics) away from the stove before turning the burners on. Wipe up spills or overflowing food right away, and use pots and pans that are in good condition.

Finally, be very careful when frying in hot oil. Never leave pots of boiling water or oil unattended and always keep a pot lid nearby. Should the oil start to flame up, stop it by covering the pot with the lid? You should also turn off the heat and allow the stove and pot to cool.

When you follow these safety tips, you can easily avoid winter fire hazards. Would you like to learn more safety tips for renters? We can help! Call 616-419-4578 to speak with a professional Kalamazoo property manager today.

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