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Keep Your Home Warm this Winter

Fargo Tenant Warming Their Toes by the Cozy FireplaceFire Safety Tips You Need to Know

Winter months mean holidays, memories — and, unfortunately, seasonal fire hazards. Since more people use fireplaces, candles, and even kitchen appliances during winter, incidents of residential fires also rise this time of the year. It helps to know some winter fire safety fundamentals so you can keep your Fargo home and family safe. The following tips can help you avoid the common causes of winter fires and make your winter a season to enjoy.

It feels great to cozy up by the fire during winter nights. But fireplaces should be used carefully and cleaned regularly to keep flames where should remain. One of the most important safety tips for using a fireplace is to clean it thoroughly before each use. Sparks from hazards such as ashes, built-up soot, and debris can cause burns and property damage. Also, starting with a clean fireplace will ensure that you’ll be safe each time you warm yourself up.

Aside from cleaning your fireplace, make sure the damper is open and working properly before lighting your kindling. Doing this will ensure proper ventilation and prevent smoke from filling up your home. When the fire is lit, it should not be left unattended, and children and pets must be safely kept at a distance. Finally, you have to take precautions when you remove ashes and unburned wood from a fireplace. Coals hidden under ashes can stay hot for up to three days, so stir ashes carefully and test for heat before you scoop them out. Also, don’t forget to do your annual chimney sweep to keep creosote deposits from ruining the festivities.

Similar to fireplaces, candles are also potential sources of residential fires. Open flames can improve the mood in your home, but they must always be used cautiously. According to the National Fire Protection Association, candles start an average of 7,610 home structure fires each year. You can keep the risk of fire low if you keep lit candles safely away from flammable items like curtains, houseplants, and home decor. Remember also to never move a candle that has melted wax pooling in the center, and never -ever- leave a lit candle unattended. This way, you’ll keep your candle-lit evenings safe.

Winter holidays also mean special treats and meals. However, all that extra cooking can also mean that kitchen fires are more common in winter. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, there are more than 189,000 cooking fires in the U.S. each year. These fires are usually caused by food or kitchen appliances left unattended.

To have a holiday free from kitchen fires, make sure you are in the kitchen whenever you are simmering or baking food. It is also helpful to set a timer to remind yourself to remove food from the stove or oven once you’re done cooking. Most home cooking fires start on the stovetop, so make sure dish towels and other fabrics, as well as other flammable items, are far away from your stove burners. Another safety tip is to clean up spills or overflowing food immediately and to use pots and pans that are in good condition.

If your holiday cooking involves frying, you should be extra careful around hot oil. Do not leave boiling water or oil unattended, and keep a pot lid nearby. If the oil starts to flame up, cover the pot with the lid, turn the heat off, and allow the stove and pot to cool down.

By following these tips, your winter season can be free from common fire hazards. Would you like to learn more safety tips for renters? We can help! Call 320-289-4649 to speak with a professional Fargo property manager today.

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