According to the U.S. Fire Administration, 905 people die in winter home fires every year with cooking being the leading cause and heating being the second leading cause. Here are some helpful tips to avoid a deadly fire within your home.
Tips to avoid a Cooking Fire:
-Never leave the stove unattended and always make sure to move all flammable items away from the stovetop
-Don’t wear loose clothing while cooking
-Clean all cooking surfaces regularly to prevent a fire from the grease buildup
-Use a timer to remind yourself when you need to take the food out
-Always check before you are going to leave the house or go to bed that everything has been turned off
-Make sure to keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen in case of a fire
Tips to avoid a Home Fire:
-Have a professional come out and assess your chimney every year
-Check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors monthly to make sure that they are still in good working condition. Replace batteries as needed
-Make sure that all heating elements are placed away from anything flammable.
-If you are using a fire place, make sure that you are closely observing it and that there are no sparks coming out. Also, check to see if there could be anything flammable on top of the mantle or around it
-If using an electric space heater, make sure that when you plug it into an outlet, that it is the only thing plugged into an outlet. If using an extension cord, make sure that the voltages with the electric heater are matched up with what the extension cord can handle
-If you are removing ashes from a wood stove, make sure to let the ashes completely cool and then dispose of them outside
What to do if you’ve had a fire:
-We suggest not opening windows in unaffected areas, as that may cause the damage to spread
-If you’re not sure how to clean it, don’t, this could end up causing more permanent staining
-Remember that protein fires (meat fires) cause soot that is very hard to remove and it is not recommended to try to take care of it yourself
-The soot that is covering your home is hazardous to your health and needs to be cleaned and removed as soon as possible, meaning that it is best to call in a professional that can handle your needs
Make sure that you and your family are prepared with a plan in case a fire does happen, to ensure that everyone gets out safely. Remember, lives are more important than anything that is inside that home.
If you do experience a fire, and need help restoring your home, call DRS at 877-280-7961.