Lifestyle

3 Tips for Keeping Your Family Safe From a Home Fire This Winter

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Parts of the Hill Country are soon expected to experience their first real bout of cooler weather. While a cool front will eventually move on, the promise of colder temperatures might have you prepping your home for the winter months. However, an important aspect of winterizing your home that is often overlooked is being aware of the hazards that might lead to structure fires during this time of year.

The United States Fire Administration estimates 905 people are killed each year by winter home fires. Additionally, property losses of over $2 million have been recorded due to homes burning during the colder months. Below are three tips from the administration that can help you keep your family safe this winter and for many winters to come.

1. Be Aware of Proper Placement of Heaters and Fire Screens

Space Heater safety during winter months photo courtesy of u.s. fire administration

Photo: U.S. Fire Administration

One of the most basic ways to prevent house fires is to be aware of the objects nearest to your heating source. A few specific tips regarding space heaters and fireplaces are:

  • Keep all flammable items at least three feet away from your source of heat.
  • It is hazardous to use extension cords to plug-in space heaters, always plug electric heaters directly into the wall.
  • For added safety, only utilize heaters with automatic shut-offs, just in case yours accidentally tips over.
  • When using a fireplace, always make sure there is a screen covering the opening. This ensures embers cannot land on flooring or furniture, thus leading to a structural blaze.

Sources of heat in the home are the second leading cause of family dwelling fires. In fact, 45,900 house fires were caused by a heat-related source between 2013 and 2015. Following the above steps will ensure your family stays warm, and safe, this winter.

2.Use Caution When Decorating for the Holidays

Use caution when decorating for the holidays. Here, jack o lanterns glow with candlelight. Photo from Pixabay
Photo: Pixabay

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