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Learn Why Fire Hazards Are Worse During The Winter

Feb 21, 2008
Though it may seem to make the most sense, most people are only concerned with fire safety in the winter season; it is the holidays, which make for warm family moments by the fireplace, lit holiday candles, Christmas trees, decorative lighting outside your home, and cooking the wonderful holiday feast. Though this does make sense, it is important for people to consider fire safety all around the calendar year. There are many hazards, but sadly, they are often realized far too late.

Fall: fall is the season where people begin to bring out their warm clothing in preparation for the coming cold winter months. This includes bringing out the space heaters and chopping wood for that first cold snap of the year. As people prepare for the fall, it is an excellent time to check their chimneys with a flashlight, looking for cracks or holes, in addition to scanning for a build up of creosote. If your chimney looks like it may need to be cleaned, do not hesitate to do so; hire a professional, or do it yourself as you carefully follow instructions. Also, if you do not own a fire extinguisher but like to frequently have fires in your fireplace or wood stove, it would be a great time to purchase one.

Winter: Once Jack Frost makes his presence known, winter has arrived. During this season, it is actually time to deal with the cold, not simply prepare for it. Since winter is the season of holidays, it is especially important to be careful to follow fire safety and prevention practices. As you decorate the outside of your home with lights and garlands, make sure there are no frays in the light wires, and be careful when using extension cords (always remember to use cords specific to the outdoors). Many people also cook holiday meals, and kitchen fire safety should be practiced all year. Holiday candles are fun and they smell wonderful; however, if you have children, keep the candles (and matches and lighters!) clearly out of reach.

Spring: most people feel they can relax once spring arrives; there are no more fires in the fireplace, less use of candles, and the holiday season is simply over until next year. However springtime is best known for...you guessed it: spring-cleaning! If you had many fires in your fireplace or wood stove over the winter, go ahead and clean it in preparation for next year; it always feels good to be ahead of the game. Second, go ahead and clean your oven and stove top; burned food can easily cause fires. Finally, check all of the batteries on your smoke detectors, and ensure they are working properly and going strong.

Summer: summer is the season of fun in the sun...the last thing on most people's minds are trying to stay warm. However, many people love to cookout and watch fireworks on the 4th of July. Be sure to be safe, and clear areas where you may be cooking out, having a bonfire, or showing off fireworks; dried grass, underbrush, or other objects can easily catch fire by a simple runaway spark. Always have a hose or fire extinguisher nearby, just in case.

Though of course there are certain things that must be practiced year round when it comes to fire safety, but it can sometimes be helpful to break things down by seasons. Remember, the best way to prevent a fire is to pay attention, and to be careful as you apply basic fire prevention practices each and every day, regardless of the time of year.
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