Fire prevention and awareness should be top of mind most of the time, but during the recently past holiday season it was likely more present than usual. At no other time of year are there so many candles burned and electrical outlets put to the test, and added to that there are a lot more hazards around, too. Ornaments tend to be made of flammable materials, and live Christmas trees present a unique challenge. Live Christmas trees should not be displayed near an active fireplace, and should be watered regularly and care should be taken to remove dropped needles quickly. And, of course, we should always remember to keep fire-starting materials well out of reach of children.
Above and beyond those special times of year, however, home owners should always remain diligent about fire prevention. There are several things you can do to minimize your chances of suffering a fire.
Clean Out That Chimney
Your fireplace and chimney should at least be inspected annually if you intend to use it frequently. Depending upon how much wood you burn, and the type you burn, you should have your chimney swept out at no less than a three-year interval, and sooner if your fireplace is in constant use.
Burning wood leaves creosote in the chimney. Make sure you have working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors at all times.
Your clothes dryer produces lint from the linen items it dries. Lint is literally the small-scale disintegration of your clothing, sheets, and towels. Eventually, such items become “threadbare.” Where most of it went is your lint trap.
Because lint is so dehydrated, and the fibers are so fine, it readily ignites. Dyer fires are easy to ignite and hard to extinguish, and can result in a full-blown electrical fire, which is very dangerous and expensive to fix. If such a fire starts in your home, call emergency services immediately and get everyone safely outside.
Safety experts also say that you shouldn’t operate an unattended dryer to minimize the fire hazard to your home.
Segregate Household Flammables
Most households have some gasoline, motor oil, paint thinner, and the like in storage somewhere. Ideally, they should be stored away from all heat sources in a detached shed. Shy of that, if your flammables must be stored in the garage, keep them away from the furnace, the water heater, and any area that will be near the tips of the exhaust pipes of your cars. Power equipment such as lawn mowers, snow blowers, and such, should be seasonally drained of gasoline. If you spill gasoline, throw some kitty litter on it or other absorbent material immediately. The fumes are heavier than air and if present in an enclosed place, especially near the furnace, the ignition from your furnace could ignite the spilled gasoline, paint thinner etc.
Deal With Rodents
Many household electrical fires are caused by shorts in compromised wiring. Nothing is better at compromising your wires than vermin chewing at it.
Don’t Create Indoor Drought
Keep your indoor plants watered. Many large indoor plants are what are called “drought resistant.” This means that if you are indifferent to watering them, they still take awhile to look sickly or die. In the meanwhile, such a plant can be excellent tinder. Experts recommend keeping plants out of the kitchen and away from open flames.
Contact Bow Valley Insurance
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