Fall is the best time to get our homes prepared for winter. All too often, however, we ignore the potential risks of allowing heating units to go unchecked, increasing the risk of house fires. That’s why it is important to check now for any issues.
Before temperatures begin to drop dramatically, keep it in mind that winter is the time of year when house fires happen more often. According to experts, most of these incidents happen because of improper use or maintenance of heating units.
Prevent House Fires: Have Heating Units Professionally Checked
Experts say that because heating units go unused for most of the year, we should always get ours checked before winter hits.
An annual maintenance check is essential to help prevent heating incidents, which according to the U.S. Fire Administration, is the second leading cause of house fires in the country.
If you have a central heating system in your home, change the heating system filters monthly and have a licensed professional perform a maintenance check every year.
Fireplaces Need Maintenance Too
If you’re one of the many Washingtonians who like to keep it cozy by firing up the fireplace during the thick of winter, remember that dirty chimneys will increase the risk of house fires as well.
Having your chimney professionally sweeped and adding a glass or metal screen to the fireplace to keep the sparks or embers from jumping out will secure a safe and enjoyable fireplace season.
Furthermore, you should never burn paper in the fireplace.
Using Space Heaters Safely
Another common factor in house fires is improper use of space heaters.
Before setting one up, however, you must remember to have it plugged directly into a proper power source. If you plug a space heater to a power strip or an extension cord that is being used by other electronics as well, the device might overheat. Additionally, place the space heater on a flat, solid surface and keep it at least three feet away from anything that can burn.
Always remember to turn any space heater off before leaving a room or before bedtime. Make sure your heater has an automatic shutoff so that if it tips over, it turns off automatically.
For more tips on how to keep your home cozy and safe this coming winter, follow this link.