Do’s and Don’ts for Preventing House Fires This Winter
Fire season, or seasons, in Vermont may be spring and fall, but when it comes to house fires, most of those tend to happen in the winter. House fires can be absolutely devastating, both in the threat they pose to human life and their ability to absolutely destroy property. So what should you be doing, or not doing, to prevent them?
Candles can smell amazing and create a special ambience that is hard to create by other methods. Still, they can be dangerous and start fires if not handled properly. When it comes to candles, never leave one burning unattended. Don’t burn it for more than four hours at a time. Keep it well out of reach of children and pets, and on a stable, sturdy surface where it’s not likely to get knocked over. Keep the area above it free and clear. Keep the flame away from moving air as well.
Some of the best comfort foods make an appearance during the winter. As with anything involving high levels of heat, however, carelessness and a lack of caution can spell trouble pretty quickly. Cooking fires can be quite different from those that come from a candle. Don’t ever leave the stove unattended. Keep your kitchen clean and clear of clutter. Don’t let children or pets run around underfoot. Keep a fire extinguisher close by, and keep the handles of pots and pans turned towards the back of the stove. Never ever put water on a grease or oil fire. If you decide to try to fight it, smother it instead.
Your smoke alarm can be a literal lifesaver, but only if you care for it and maintain it. Each smoke alarm in your home should be tested on a monthly basis, and the batteries replaced at least once a year. Every ten years or so, replace the alarms entirely. Don’t get complacent and just take the batteries out so they don’t beep at you when the battery runs low.
Taking steps to prevent your home from getting damaged or even lost in a house fire matters. It can take as little as five minutes for a house to become completely engulfed in flames. Do yourself a favor and keep a fire extinguisher or two on hand, and make sure you and your family have an emergency plan and that you know what to do if a fire ever starts.