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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

How to Stay Toasty and Safe | SERVPRO of Westfield

1/16/2024 (Permalink)

brick chimney with lit fire logs Fire safety is a top priority for us at SERVPRO of Westfield this winter. Keep your home safe with these helpful tips!

Even in our mostly warm climate, when winter fully sets in, we all love a good blanket and a crackling fire. When the temperatures drop, keeping our homes warm is crucial, but it also leaves us vulnerable to fires.

The number of fires goes up considerably in the winter, and many of them are due to the improper use of heating devices. The good news is that with some simple steps toward safety, you can be as cozy as you like when the cold sets in.

Addressing Your Fireplace

There is nothing quite as relaxing as the sights, sounds and smells of a fire in the fireplace. Fireplaces are a great way to heat your home, especially if the power goes out, but they can also be dangerous when used improperly. Clean, wood-burning fireplaces after every use, including removing all ash and debris. Chimneys should be inspected yearly by a professional and cleaned of any buildup.

Don’t keep flammable materials near your fireplace, including anything you put on your mantle. Dust is highly flammable, so keep things clean. For electric or gas fireplaces, check the connections every few months to avoid potential leaks. Make sure you have a smoke detector and a carbon monoxide detector in the room with your fireplace.

Space Heater Safety

Space heaters are a great choice for only warming a single room, which is a great way to warm up when the mornings are cold but the afternoons are hot. Space heaters come with a lot of risks, though, and yearly are responsible for nearly 1,700 house fires.

Always run your space heaters on a flat surface away from anything flammable. Check the cord for signs of wear and tear before you plug it in, and always plug directly into the wall. Take protective steps to keep your pets at least three feet away from your heater when it is running, and teach kids to stay away as well.

When you are cold, it can be tempting to put your heater right next to you, but avoid getting it too close to any furniture, rugs or curtains. Always turn space heaters off before you leave the room especially when it is time to call it a night.

Suggested Safety Features for Your Space Heater

While there are a lot of options for space heaters on the market, there are a few particular safety features you want to make sure anything you use has. That might mean if your current heaters haven’t been replaced in a while, it is time for an upgrade.

Look into the manufacturer you are purchasing from to ensure they are certified. Space heaters should go through a decent amount of testing before they are sold to ensure they are safe in most scenarios. Only use space heaters that come with automatic shut-off features. They should turn off when they are bumped, knocked over or have run for too long.

Cords on your heater need to be long enough to run in an open space. Six feet is generally reliable. Make sure it is well-made and feels heavy duty. Never use an extension cord or power strip with a space heater.

By paying your fireplace and space heaters a little extra attention, you can keep things cozy and warm without fear. If something does happen in your home, it only takes a call to our SERVPRO of Westfield office to get smoke, soot or other fire damage handled quickly.

A quick fire damage restoration is just a phone call away. Call SERVPRO® for immediate assistance.

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