Each year homes are lost, and injuries occur due to fire. House fires are more common in the winter and during the holiday season. Keep your family and belongings safe with these tips to prevent a house fire.

Have a Fire Extinguisher Available

Every home should have at least one fire extinguisher on each floor of the house. Familiarize yourself with the correct use of the device and teach your family members. PASS is a helpful acronym for fire extinguisher use: pull the pin, aim the device at the base of the flames, squeeze the lever, and sweep the extinguisher from side to side.

Using Candles at the Holidays

The holidays are a common time for house fires, and candles are often the culprit. If you enjoy candles, burn them in a sturdy, stable holder. Always have an adult present when candles are in use and extinguish them before leaving the house or going to bed. Keep candles away from flammable materials such as tablecloths, napkins, dish towels, and curtains.

Use a Screen Over the Fireplace to Prevent a House Fire

A fireplace is a cozy addition to any home, but it also comes with a risk of fire. You can prevent a house fire by using a screen over the fireplace. A screen blocks embers that may pop out of the fire. Choose a screen that is the right size for your fireplace and made of mesh that is fine enough to keep embers contained.

Never leave the fire unattended, and extinguish it before going to bed or leaving the house.

Keep Flammable Objects Away from the Fireplace

Keep flammable objects away from your fireplace, as they can easily catch fire if they come into contact with sparks or embers. Before building a fire, declutter around the hearth. Newspapers, draperies, furniture, and rugs should be at least five feet away from the flames.

Careful Use of Space Heaters

Space heaters are a great way to supplement your home’s heating system and save on your energy bill. But if not used correctly, space heaters can be a fire hazard. Follow these tips to prevent a house fire:

  • Never leave a space heater unattended. Turn it off when you leave the room or go to bed.
  • Keep children and pets away from space heaters.
  • Place the space heater on a level, nonflammable surface, such as a ceramic tile floor.
  • Keep combustible materials, such as furniture, pillows, bedding, paper, and clothing, at least five feet away from the front of the heater.
  • Never use extension cords with space heaters.

Prevent a House Fire by Practicing Safety in the Kitchen

The kitchen is one of the most common places for house fires to start. To reduce the fire risk, keep an eye on the food you are preparing. Don’t leave the stovetop unattended while cooking. If you have to leave the room, turn off the stove. Keep the stove clean, wipe spills immediately, and don’t let grease build up on your stovetop or in the oven. Keep dishtowels, napkins, paper towels, and other flammable materials away from the stove.

These tips will help keep your home and family safe from fire this winter season.

Mich-Inspect provides professional home inspection services to customers in Michigan. If you’re buying or selling a home, contact us to request an appointment.