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Keep Your Home Warm this Winter

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

Together with holidays and memories, winter months also bring seasonal fire hazards. Winter is usually synonymous with fireplaces, candles, and kitchen appliances that is why there tend to be more residential fires at this time of the year. It is helpful to know the basics of winter fire safety so you can keep your Upper Marlboro 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 is always lovely on a cozy winter night. This is why you must make sure your fireplaces are used carefully and cleaned often to ensure there are no stray flames. One of the most important safety tips for using a fireplace is to clean it thoroughly before each use. Keep it free from ashes, built-up soot, and debris which can become hazards that throw sparks and cause burns and property damage. If you start with a clean fireplace, you ensure that you have a safe & warm fire each time you light it.

As you are cleaning your fireplace, you should also make sure the damper is open and working properly before lighting your kindling. This will ensure proper ventilation that will prevent smoke from filling your home. Once lit, fires should never be left unattended, and children and pets should be kept at a safe distance. Lastly, be cautious when you remove ashes and unburned wood from a fireplace. Coals from up to three days ago can stay hot under the ashes, so it is best to stir the ashes carefully and test for heat before you scoop them out. An annual chimney sweep is also very important to keep creosote deposits from building up.

Like fireplaces, candles are another possible source of residential fires. You should be cautious around open flames. 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. Remember also to never move a candle that has melted wax pooling in the center, and never -ever- leave a lit candle unattended. This way, you can enjoy your candle-lit nights safely.

It’s no wonder that many of our winter holidays are associated with delicious meals. 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 ensure that your holidays don’t get ruined by kitchen fires, see to it that you stay in the kitchen at all times while 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. Most cooking fires start on stovetops so make sure your flammable objects, including dish towels and other fabrics, are kept away from the stove before any burners are turned on. Cleaning up spills or overflowing food and using pots and pans in good condition also help minimize fire risks.

Finally, be very careful when frying in hot oil. Never leave pots of boiling water or oil unattended and always keep a pot lid nearby. If the oil starts to flame up, you can stop it immediately if you cover the pot with the lid, turn off the heat, and allow the stove and pot to cool.

When you follow these safety tips, you can easily avoid winter fire hazards. Would you like to learn more safety tips for renters? We can help! Call 301-392-2172 to speak with a professional Upper Marlboro property manager today.

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