Being nice and cozy in your home with a fire roaring in your fireplace and warming the room is one of the nicest parts of winter. It’s also a great time of year to have candles adding a warm glow to your home, but with candles or fireplaces there are certain risks you need to watch out for.
Although the amount of outdoor fires decreases during the winter, the amount of indoor, structural fires increase. This is due in part to the structure of the home becoming drier when the air cools, cranking up the heat, using space heaters and heated blankets, and increased use of fireplaces and candles. With these 4 tips, you can help keep your home and your family safe from winter fires.
- If you clear your fireplace of embers and ash, dispose of them in a covered metal container with water in it. Store this container outside of your home, but not too close to the structure of your home.
- Christmas trees don’t make for a safe firewood option, and gift wrapping or boxes shouldn’t be burned in your fireplace because they burn too quickly and unpredictably. Your stockings shouldn’t be hung from your mantel if a fire is burning either.
- Never leave candles unattended or with children and pets. Similarly, don’t place them in high-traffic areas where they’re likely to get knocked over and cause a fire. If you’re burning a candle, be sure to keep the wick short and dispose of the candle when there are two inches or less of wax left.
- Adding a fireplace screen is a wonderful way to protect your home (and the people in it!) from sparks that fly out of the fireplace. These might go unnoticed at first, but they can quickly cause a big problem if that spark turns into a flame.