Fall Fire Safety Tips
As many of us may try to ignore it, the fact is Fall is here and it’s getting cold. This unfortunately means raking leaves, packing up the outdoors, getting out the heaters, and preparing for the colder months to come. All of this extra equipment running, extra debris outside, and chimneys roaring are cause for homes to be at a greater risk of fire. Please consider these tips below to make sure you are safely winterizing your house, and being proactive in your fire safety.
A routine is easiest to stick to – spring forward, fall back, and check your smoke detectors, as well as your carbon monoxide detectors
- Maintain a 3 foot radius of open space around your heater to minimize risk of furniture (or other items) catching fire.
- Never place clothing or other objects on the heater to dry.
- Always turn off and unplug heaters when not in use, or when you go to bed.
Keep a Safe (and Clean) Fireplace
- Have your chimney inspected annually, and cleaned when needed. Creosote, the buildup of deposits, can still be ignited under the pressure of heat being omitted from your fireplace. Heat can also cause cracks that may allow CO to seep into your living space.
- Keep an eye on your fire! If debris fell into your chimney it may be ignited, or may cause blockage that will force the smoke right back into your house.
- Always have a screen or cover over your fireplace to prevent sparks from floating out.
Review Your Escape Plan
If we’ve been doing our job, then you already have an escape plan, right? Right…?
Now is the perfect time to review it again. Change of season can mean change of your environment – somethings on your escape route or meeting place may have changed that you’ll want to address. Also keep in mind that soon you may need to be prepared for the ground to be covered in snow.
It’s also not a bad idea to practice escaping a fire. Unfortunately cold-weather fires mostly happen at night, so in the case of emergency you may need to deal with excessive smoke buildup. Practice escaping your house while crawling, and keeping your head 12-24in above ground.
- Never park your car on top of a pile of leaves – the heat from your exhaust or catalytic converter could cause ignition.
- Store flammable liquids, such as unused fuel, away from your home in order to prevent accidental fires. Also make sure to remove unused fuel from lawn equipment such as lawn mowers before storing them for the season.
- Contact your utility company if tree branches/limbs are not clear of power lines.