As the winter months continue and temperatures get lower than usual, you may want to use a space heater to keep things warm without running your heating bill up too high. As it turns out, this is one of many seasonal items that can increase the chance of a fire starting in your home. Read on to learn more about some of the items that are popular this time of year, how they can increase the risk of fire in your home, and how you should use and store these items to keep your home safe.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, heating equipment is the second most reported cause of home fires, after cooking-related accidents. Space heaters are the type of heating equipment that causes most of these incidents by igniting something left nearby on fire, such as bedding, clothing or towels. Many of the problems that occur with space heaters are due to user error and can be prevented with proper education and planning. For example, finding a sufficiently stable place to set up the space heater so that it doesn’t tip over, and placing it far enough away from bedding and curtains.
Candles are always a concern for fire prevention professionals, as they are responsible for starting many fires in homes across America. Each day, an average of 15 home fires will be started due to candles in the home. However, while candles are always a concern, they become more of a concern around holiday times, such as Christmas, New Year’s Eve, Hanukkah and Valentine’s Day. In fact, the top three days for candle-related home fires fall within the same week: Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day. The same risks can exist with similar products that contain an open flame, such as scented wax and oil burners. Many of these products now exist in a flameless LED variety, which gives the same effect as a candle or oil burner, while removing the risk associated with the open flame.
A home fire needs a flame to start, but it also needs fuel to keep going. The heavy blankets and extra bedding many people use in the colder months to stay warm can act as kindling if it is left too close to an open flame. To be on the safe side, you should make sure that all bedding, blankets, and curtains are at least 12 inches away from any open flames, like candles, or heat sources like space heaters.
The colder months of the year may bring more potential fire hazards into your home, but with planning and prevention, you can ensure that everything stays safe. If your home is damaged by a fire and you need to place an insurance claim, Five Star Insurance Adjusting can help. Click here to find out more about our services.