Putting the Freeze on Winter Fires

Putting the Freeze on Winter Fires

You are driving through your neighborhood and you see Christmas lights on homes.  You look through neighbor’s windows and see Christmas trees lighting up the room along with decorative candles sitting on window seals, stockings hanging above fireplaces, and you think to yourself, it must be winter season.  When you think of winter season you think of fond memories in the past with your family and friends, but there is something else you need to be thinking about during the winter season.  How can I put the freeze on winter fires in my home?  This is a question that has to not just be asked but answered because the things mentioned above are potential fires waiting to happen. 

Here are a few facts.  Heating is the second leading cause of home fires, deaths and injuries in the United States and is the number one leading cause of home fires during the winter season.  A fire can be prevented in your home by practicing these fire safety tips in your home.

  • Only use a space heater on a hard surface like hardwood, ceramic tile, etc.
  • Maintain a 3’ clearance of combustibles away from all heaters and fireplaces.
  • Never use a space heater while you are sleeping.
  • Never use a stove to heat a home.  A gas stove will emit carbon monoxide.
  • Plug all heaters directly in an outlet and not a cube adapter or multi-plug.
  • Make sure you have a working carbon monoxide alarm in your home if have any type of fuel fired appliances, fire place or an attached garage.
  • Have a professional company inspect your gas fireplace and clean your chimney yearly if you use natural wood.
  • Never use pine in a fireplace.  The sap from the tree will attach to your chimney walls and it can spark a fire.
  • Make sure you have a shied in front of the fire place
  • Keep combustible materials 3’ away from the fireplace.

We do not want to forget about the holiday season, so here are some tips to keep your home fire safe.

  • Never use indoor Christmas lights outside and make sure you visibly inspect them for any damage/wear and tear.
  • Use electrical candles instead of wax candles.
  • Never leave lit candles unattended nor leave them lit while sleeping.
  • If you use a natural cut tree for Christmas, make sure it is properly secured where it will not fall over, make sure you water it every day keep at least 2” of water above the stem.
  • I know you like to have your Christmas tree look the best in your neighborhood, but never put too much lighting on your tree.  More lights mean more heat and too much heat can start a fire.
  • Multi-plugs and cube adaptors are a fire waiting to happen so use listed power strips/surge protectors instead. 
  • Remember not to have stocking hanging to low on you fireplace.

There is alot to consider when it comes to winter safety and I hope you have a productive season by using these tips in your home.  Let us put a freeze on winter fire this year and the year to come.