Over half of all home heating fires occur during the winter months of December, January and February. Additionally, $2 billion in property losses occurs from winter home fires. During the holidays, fire safety can be a big concern. With the use of fireplaces and small heating appliances becoming more and more of a necessity as the weather cools, it is important to acknowledge that there are safety hazards that go along with these fun ways to stay warm. There are many things you can do this holiday season to stay safe from unwelcome fires. In this post, we’ll discuss the fire hazards every family should be aware of as well as the safety precautions you can take in order to avoid these hazards. Consider taking a look at our free fire safety checklist to get you and your family through this holiday season safely! The checklist can be downloaded for free by clicking the button below!

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Be Prepared!

It is important to always be prepared for a fire, even if you believe there is very little possibility for one to occur. For example, make sure fire hydrants are always accessible. If you live in an area where the snow can easily pile up in the streets, be sure to check with your neighbors about who’s responsibility it is to keep the fire hydrant free of built-up snow. In addition to having access to your nearest fire hydrant, consider having a fire extinguisher handy. Show your family how to use a fire extinguisher and where you’ll be keeping it for emergencies along with a first-aid kit. Also, it is a good idea to talk with your family about a fire escape plan, just in case the unfortunate event of a fire were to happen in your home. Show your children how to dial 911 and in which situations to do so. Consider packing an emergency supply kit and be sure the numbers on your house are visible so that help can find your location as easily as possible!

In addition to a fire escape plan, be sure that you have a working smoke detector. Many renters like to remove the batteries from their smoke alarms in order to not be bothered by the beeping when they go off due to small amounts of smoke from cooking or the fire place. This is extremely dangerous. Consider a monitored smoke alarm from Protect America. This smoke alarm thinks for itself! Monitored smoke detectors can identify smoke or rapid rising temperatures 24 hours a day. Even if your security system is disarmed, our monitoring facility notifies your local fire department if it detects a fire. This means it will contact the fire department by itself as you direct your family to safety with the help of your winter safety checklist!

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Be Preventative!

In addition to being prepared for a fire, there are some things you can do to prevent them as well. While using the fire place, be sure to take advantage of the metal curtain or cover used to keep sparks from the logs contained. Never leave a fire unattendedIf you must leave, be sure it is fully extinguished before you leave it. If you use space heaters in addition to or instead of a fireplace, understand that they can be just as dangerous. Be sure everyone in the family knows to stay at least 3 feet away from all space heaters. Additionally, be sure to keep pets and other flammable materials at least 3 feet away as well.

For additional fire safety tips and techniques, please take a look at our free downloadable fire safety flyer! For more fire safety information, consider joining Protect America and a number of other safety advocates for a #FireSafetyFriday Twitter chat. The Twitter chat will be hosted by Protect America, Safewise, and Security Today.

The chat will take place on Friday December 19th from 2-3pm (CST).

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Invite your friends! Prizes available upon participation!