With colder weather and the holidays approaching, now is a good time to make sure your home is fire safe. This time of year, there are many additional risk factors that can lead to house fires.
What Can You Do If There Is a Fire?
No one wants to imagine a fire over the holidays, but even a small kitchen fire can mean that you have to find other accommodations while the fire and smoke damage is repaired. It’s dangerous to breathe in soot left behind after a fire.
If it does happen, one of the first things you should do is contact your insurance provider to let them know that there has been a loss and that you will be filing a claim. You can hire an insurance lawyer to assist you with that claim. The greater the loss, the more important it becomes to make sure your claim will cover the costs so that you’re not left paying to rebuild your home out of pocket.
Fire Prevention Tips
Fortunately, there are many actions you can take to stay safe over the holidays.
#1 Kitchen Safety
The kitchen has a high concentration of appliances that can cause fire, and many house fires begin in the kitchen. The most important thing you can do to mitigate risks in the kitchen is pay attention. Make sure you keep rags, curtains, flammable chemicals, and other materials away from heating elements. Don’t leave the kitchen unattended while you’re cooking, and keep a fire extinguisher close by in case of a grease fire. Should one erupt, here’s how to stop it:
- Use a heavy metal lid to cover it;
- Use baking soda or salt to extinguish a small fire – not water;
- Use a chemical fire extinguisher if the fire spreads.
#2 Check the Furnace
As the snow starts to fall, households rely on their heating systems more and more. Here are some of the ways you can reduce the risk of an HVAC fire:
- Keep flammable materials at least 3 feet away from the heating system;
- Change the furnace filter every couple of months or even monthly if you have pets – this will also improve air quality in your home;
- Find out how to shut off the gas and do so if you smell gas.
#3 Christmas Light Safety
Christmas lights are an important part of the holiday for many, and decorating both inside and out can bring some brightness to the early nights. When you’re putting up holiday lights, make sure your outdoor lights are designated for exterior use and that there are no broken lights on the string. You should also check the temperatures of cords to make sure they don’t feel hot. Finally, if you can, plug lights directly into outdoor plugs. Use a surge protector if you don’t have enough outlets, and be sure to check the fuse box to make sure the outlet can handle it.
This holiday season, make sure you take necessary precautions to reduce fire risks.