The incidents of fires rise each winter, as people enjoy their fireplaces, turn on their furnaces and heat their homes with space heaters. To keep your home safe this winter, follow these tips to reduce fire hazards in your home.
Have your chimney swept and inspected
Light your fireplace with confidence this fall: Have your chimney swept and inspected before you ignite your first fire. A chimney sweeping will clear the chimney of any flammable creosote or other debris that could spark a fire. During the inspection, your chimney sweep will check your fireplace and chimney for any damage or deficiencies that could allow the heat or fire from your fireplace to ignite the portion of your home’s structure that surrounds it. An annual chimney cleaning and inspection is so important in protecting your home from a fire that the National Fire Prevention Association code specifically advises homeowners to have any chimney or fireplaces inspected each year.
Clear your clothing dryer vents
Just like an obstructed or damaged chimney can cause a home fire, clogged clothing dryer vents pose a hazard to your home. Also like your chimney, professionals recommend having your clothing dryer vents cleaned and inspected at least once per year, and more often if you do an above average amount of laundry. Even if you make a habit of cleaning your lint trap between dryer cycles, lint manages to bypass the trap and buildup in your dryer vents. When hot air can no longer exhaust from the dryer, the dryer will overheat, and that can cause it to ignite. If your clothing dryer vents aren’t clean, your home is at risk. During a professional dryer vent cleaning, a technician will use high-speed rotating brushes and a high-powered vacuum to clear all of the lint from your vents.
Keep combustibles away from your heating appliances
One of the most common causes of fires is the spreading of a fire from an appliance to a combustible object that’s been placed too close. Whether you have a fireplace, heating stove or space heater, make sure that you have cleared the area around your heating appliance of any flammable materials. That includes pillows, blankets, furniture, drapes, books and papers should be kept at least three feet away from any hot appliance. And be sure not to keep stacks of towels or clothing on top of your dryer while the dryer is in use.
Check your smoke detectors
Of course, the best way to keep your home safe in the winter is to be sure that your home is equipped with an adequate amount of smoke detectors; that way, if a fire does ignite, your family will be notified early and have time to exit your home. There should be at least one smoke detector on each floor of your home, and a smoke detector in every sleeping area. This fall, be sure to check your smoke detectors to make sure they are operational.
Don’t put off fire safety this fall; keep your home and family safe! Call Environmental Chimney Service to clean and inspect your chimney and clothing dryer vents, and make sure your smoke detectors are working.