5 Winter Home Fire Safety Tips

January 26, 2016

Winter house fires are more likely to happen because there are more risks factors occurring in the house such as stovetop or oven cooking, fireplaces, and candles to make the home feel cozy and warm. While these can help everyone get through the cabin fever of winter, it can be dangerous if the fires are not monitored carefully and extinguished responsibly. There are other hazards that you may not even consider. Dryer vents clogged with lint can burst into flames and unclean filters may catch fire as well. Here are a few tips to keep your home safe from fire during the winter.

1. Functioning Fire Detectors

Make sure you have functioning fire detectors throughout your home. Working smoke detectors will keep you safe throughout the night. You will also want to make sure they have fully charged batteries. You should also install carbon monoxide detectors in your home so you know that you are safe. Carbon monoxide detectors are both battery operated and can be hardwired. You will want both so no matter what you can be alerted if you are in dangers.

2. Have a Plan

Have a plan for escape if your house is on fire. Make several plans involving every room in the house so no matter what everyone can get out safely. Place ladders in second-floor rooms and fire extinguishers in the basement, kitchen, and living room if you have a fireplace. Practice the plan several times throughout the year so everyone understands and it can be changed if necessary.

3. Learn How to Use a Fire Extinguisher

If you do not know how to use a fire extinguisher be sure to learn and to show everyone in your household so there is less of a chance of a fire worsening. You should also make sure everyone knows how to stop, drop, and roll in case his or her clothes or hair are set on fire.

4. Teach Children Fire Safety

If there are children living in your home remind them what can be dangerous (stoves, space heaters, floor heaters) and why they need to stay away. Also, explain to them why lighters and matches are not toys.

5. Know the Difference in Burns

Finally, if you or a loved one is burned you will want to understand the difference in burns. First degree is a light pink burn that produces tightness and only harms the top layer of the skin. Second causes blistering and bleeding as well as tightness and harms the first and second layer of skin. Third-degree burns can be incredibly painful, will need to be treated at the hospital, and may require skin grafts. If you or a family member has been burned, perform first aid by putting cold water on the burn and bandaging the wound.