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By Platinum Team November 19, 2013

Seasonal Fire Safety Tips

The very first thing you’ll want to do is install smoke detectors in your home near any sources of fire, such as your stove, oven, fireplace and dryer. If you already have smoke detectors in your home, test them at least once a month and make sure that they’re using fresh batteries. You’ll also want to keep your detectors free of dust by vacuuming them out in addition to having an escape plan and practicing it with your family in case there ever is a fire in your home.

As far as Christmas trees go, make sure that you buy one that has a fire resistant label. Decorative lights should never be used on a metallic tree under any circumstances since there’s a strong possibility that you could electrocute yourself. If you prefer to have a real tree in your home, make sure that the needles on the tree are fresh and that they aren’t falling off. Falling and hard needles can cause a fire. If there are any falling needles on the tree, make sweeping them up part of your home maintenance routine. It’s also a good idea to get rid of your live tree as soon as possible since a majority of home fires occur either after or on New Year’s Day.

Before you start a fire in your fireplace, make sure that you remove all decorations and that you have the flue open. It’s also a good idea to use a screen over your fireplace in addition to a fire resistant mat or carpet. Should you decide to use an electric heater, only use outlets that are designed to handle the amount of electricity required to operate an electric heater. Something else to add to your home maintenance list for the winter is to have your fireplace professionally cleaned. With kerosene heaters, check to make sure that you’re using the right fuel and that you only refill them outside. Kerosene will also expand when it’s inside of your home, so you don’t have to fill it up all of the way.

While cooking, make sure that you never leave your food unattended and that you keep all towels, potholders, papers and all other flammable materials far away from the stove and oven. Never try to move a pan of grease that has caught on fire. Instead, put a top on the pan to smother the flames before you turn off the heat. If you have small children, always turn the handles of pans and skillets toward the back of the stove so that curious kids won’t be tempted to reach up and pull them down to see what’s inside.

Seasonal home maintenance should also involve making sure that you have fire extinguishers in your home. You’ll also want to think about taking a fire safety and fire extinguisher class in order to make sure that you know the right way to use a fire extinguisher. Should you ever have guests over during the holiday season, make them aware of the fire escape plan as well and ensure that they know where the fire extinguishers are.

Use caution when enjoying your holiday season, and make sure that you adjust your home maintenance schedule as necessary during winter in order to stay safe.