When we think of fall and wintertime, we think of those warm, cozy evenings by the fire with a delicious cup of apple cider in hand and a good book to read. It’s that time of the year when everyone starts to ground back in from their summer adventures and relax into the school time routines. Candles, home-cooked meals and evenings by the fireside may bring that sense of holiday nostalgia, but they also are a primary cause of accidental fires and property damage. Protect your property from fire damage this holiday season by following these simple guidelines.
- Space heaters are great to warm up tiny spaces without the use of a fireplace or any central air. Although these may be convenient and portable, they are a fire risk. Avoid keeping your space heater on for long periods of time and be sure to dust it off periodically to prevent buildup or residue from catching fire. Never place flammable items in front of your space heater.
- If you have a fireplace or a wood stove, make it a routine to have a certified professional inspect your chimney and venting system to report any damages that have occurred. Make repairs to these damages before the season is in full swing and you’re using it on a more frequent basis. If you use your fireplace or a wooden stove frequently, be sure to regularly clean out any tar or creosote buildup. Creosote is highly flammable!
- Most fires are a result of an accidental kitchen fire. This holiday season be sure to practice safe kitchen habits. Don’t let cooking oil get too hot and be sure to turn the stove and oven off when you are finished using it.
- Practice safe fire making. Never use highly combustible materials like gas or kerosene that can easily leak without you knowing it. Never burn plastic, magazines, cloth or cardboard. These materials can be toxic and will fill your home with an abundance of smoke and chemical fumes. Instead, use dry seasoned hardwood or logs and open the damper for the air to flow properly. Also, always remember to blow your candle’s out!
- Insulate your flue liner. The flue liner is the space between the flue and the chimney walls. If this area is not insulated, residue from past fires can turn into creosote, which creates a perfect environment for unwanted fires to occur.
Let yourself enjoy in the holiday festivities to the fullest this year. Follow these simple steps to protecting your property and be worry-free about the danger of accidental fires. Let yourself live it up this holiday season! Make that extra set of cookies, put some more wood on the fire, and hang a few extra strings of lights. If you don’t follow the suggestions above and any accidents do happen, you know whose got your back!
Have a happy and safe holiday season from all of us at All American Public Adjusters