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Keep Your Home Warm this Winter

Hampton Tenant Warming Their Toes by the Cozy FireplaceFire Safety Tips You Need to Know

Holidays, memories, and seasonal fire hazards abound during the winter months. Since people light more candles and use fireplaces and kitchen appliances more during winter months, there are also more chances of residential fires this time of the year. Winter fire safety knowledge will come in handy to keep your Hampton home and family safe. Keep these simple tips in mind so you can avoid the common causes of winter fires and have an enjoyable season.

A crackling fire really makes winter nights extra cozy. But fireplaces should be used with care and cleaned often to ensure that flames don’t stray. One of the most important safety tips for using a fireplace is to clean it thoroughly before each use. You can prevent burns and property damage caused by sparks from hazards like ashes, built-up soot, and debris. Keep a clean fireplace and you can enjoy your fire safely every time you light it.

Aside from cleaning your fireplace, you should check that the damper is working properly and is open before you light your kindling. Proper ventilation is important to prevent smoke from filling your home. Once the fire is lit, you should not leave it unattended. Children and pets should also be kept at a safe distance. Finally, take extra care when removing ashes and unburned wood from a fireplace. Hot coals can hide under ashes for up to three days so it’s a good practice to stir ashes carefully and test for heat before you start scooping them out. Annual chimney sweeps are also important to keep creosote deposits from ruining your cozy winter moments.

Along with fireplaces, candles are a possible source of residential fires as well. Although open flames create a cozy atmosphere, they should be used cautiously. According to the National Fire Protection Association, candles start an average of 7,610 home structure fires each year. To keep the risk of fire low, candles should be kept a safe distance away from any flammable material like curtains, houseplants, and home decor items. You should also never move a candle that still has melted wax pooling in the center as well as leaves any lit candle unattended. This way, you can enjoy your candle-lit nights safely.

Many of our winter holidays are associated with scrumptious feasts. But all this extra cooking can also make kitchen fires more common during the winter months. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, there are more than 189,000 cooking fires in the U.S. each year. Most of these fires are from food or kitchen appliances left unattended.

To avoid kitchen fires during the holidays, be sure to stay in the kitchen the entire time you are simmering or baking food. Having a timer is also helpful to remind you to remove food from the stove or oven as soon as you are done cooking. Since most cooking fires begin on stovetops, you should keep flammable objects such as dish towels and other fabrics away from your stove before you turn the burners on. Spills or any overflowing food should also be cleaned up right away, and pots and pans should be in good condition.

Lastly, if your cooking plans include frying, take extra care around hot oil. Boiling water or oil should not be left unattended and you must always have a pot lid nearby. If ever the oil starts to flame up, covering the pot with the lid, turning off the heat, and allowing the stove and pot to cool will stop it right away.

If you follow these safety tips, you can easily avoid most winter fire hazards. Would you like to learn more safety tips for renters? We can help! Call 603-343-2202 to speak with a professional Hampton property manager today.

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