Fall is a beautiful season. The colors on display are just stunning. You can put on your galoshes and enjoy walks in the crisp air. But as the temperatures change and your indoor heating goes on, it’s always a good idea to refresh your memory on the fire risks the season brings with it and fires safety techniques.
Of course, some home fire prevention tips remain the same despite the season, but many safety issues are seasonal. And fall brings with it particular fire risks. The top offender during the colder months is heating. That’s right. The National Fire Protection Association reports that heating is the second leading cause of home fires and fire injuries and the third leading cause of home fire deaths.
In that case, it’s a good idea to brush up on some fire safety tips and home fire prevention techniques. It’s always better to be safe than sorry. To keep you warm and safe this fall, we’ll cover fall fire risks and home fire prevention tips, both indoors and outdoors.
Indoor Fire Safety Tips
Fall and winter are busy times. There is always a party on the go or family staying over. That means more gathering around the fire pit, lighting candles, and cooks being distracted. We mentioned the second leading cause of fires in the home, but do you know what the leading cause is? The National Fire Protection Association reports that it’s unattended cooking. Here are some tips to keep in mind to prevent a fire from occurring in your home.
- Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking, and don’t leave any food unattended on the stove or in the oven.
- Keep any easily-combustible items away from your stovetop.
- Use a timer to remind you when things will be ready.
- Don’t overload electrical outlets.
- Check your kitchen appliances are in working order, especially if their cords and plugs are faulty. To avoid the risk of a fire, it’s best to remove them entirely and have the appliance replaced.
- It’s vital to ensure your heating devices are all in good working order – whether you use space heaters, HVAC systems, gas heaters, or fireplaces.
- Inspect, clean, and service your HVAC system regularly.
- If you prefer gas heaters, make sure you have carbon monoxide detectors, and they are fully functioning.
- Space heaters must have ample space surrounding them – at least three feet. Don’t place clothing or objects to dry on your space heater.
- Turn heating devices off when leaving the house or going to bed.
- Don’t store any easily-combustible items near your heaters.
- Check up on your chimney – have it swept, cleaned, and inspected before the start of each fall season.
- Repair any cracks that may have appeared in your fireplace.
- Use screens to keep any sparks and debris inside the fireplace.
- Never leave your fire unattended.
- Gas fireplaces should be maintained – get the connections and lines checked before the start of the season.
- Never use gasoline to start a fire in your fireplace.
- Don’t store any easily-combustible items near your fireplace.
- Use low-heat string lights and decorations, not candles.
- Check your decorations. Are they fire retardant? If not, try to find some that are.
- Check the holiday lights for any broken components. Ensure your extension cords have been tested by a reputable organization before plugging them in for the holidays.
- Ensure your dryer is serviced regularly.
- Check that the air exhaust vent pipes are free and clear, and the outdoor vent flap is working well.
- Tip: Dryer vents should be cleaned and inspected at least once a year.
- Clean the lint filter before and after each use, check for any further lint accumulation, and don’t use the dryer without a lint filter.
- Don’t leave the dryer on when you are out of the house.
- Never leave the room or go to sleep with candles burning.
- Keep candles away from windows, any easily combustible items, and high-traffic areas where children or pets can knock them over.
- Watch your children with candles. Don’t let them light candles in their bedrooms, and don’t leave young children alone in rooms with candles.
- Be careful using candles during power outages as it’s difficult to see in the dark, and coming across hazards unexpectedly can be dangerous.
- Don’t let candles burn down completely and get too close to the base. Keep the wicks short – trim to a quarter inch.
- Stay away from buying novelty candles that have flammable paint, paper, and craft materials stuck on them.
Outdoor Fire Safety Tips
Believe it or not, there are many fall fire risks outdoors too. Performing an outdoor DIY inspection during the fall is an excellent idea for home fire prevention. Your first step will be to get rid of leaves. They are known to cause outdoor fires.
- Clean your roof, gutters, check your downspouts.
- Remove all leaves, pine needles, and debris from around your house.
- Are your trees or branches close to or touching your power lines? Call your utility company to come and cut them back.
- If your home has a large garden area full of trees and plants, create a fire break between your foliage and your home by pruning your plants and shrubs, cutting back trees, and raking leaves and debris. Create a barrier of at least 20 feet from the house.
- Don’t keep cardboard boxes, paper, and other flammable materials in the yard as they are fuel for fires.
Fuel and Gas
- Remove fuel from lawnmowers before packing them away for the winter.
- Thinking of burning your leaves and garden refuse? First, familiarize yourself with the outdoor burning regulations in your area.
- Don’t park your vehicles over a pile of leaves. The heat from your car can burn the leaves and start a fire.
- If you have flammable liquids, don’t store them inside your house, in the garage, or the shed. Keep them safely away from your home or get rid of them.
Family Fire Safety Tips
It’s essential to ensure your whole family knows what steps to take in the event of a fire. Teaching your children how to respond is the first priority. If you’re not around, you want to ensure they can react quickly and correctly to stay safe.
- Remind young children always to dial 911 first.
- Create and practice a plan for the event of a fire. Include the following procedures in your plan: where to meet outside your home, how to escape from a room, how to use a fire extinguisher, and how to stop, drop, and roll.
- Make sure your home has enough smoke detectors, and they are in good working order.
- Ensure all flammable substances are stored correctly in safe containers and are always out of reach of young children.
- Know and understand your homeowner’s insurance policy.
How Restoration 1 Can Help With Fire Damage Repair
At Restoration 1, we use only the latest equipment and recommended processes to restore a fire-damaged property. Our technicians hold the highest certification in our industry. This, along with our straightforward process, allows you to focus on your family while our team gets your property back to normal.
Fire damage repair needs to be addressed immediately. Without adequate restoration services, your home and everyone in it is at risk of injury or illness. If you have recently been through a home fire, please don’t wait to reach out to the experts at Restoration 1.
Contact us today and let us help you get your restoration underway.