Staying Warm the Fire-Safe Way This Winter | SERVPRO of Reno Southwest
The temperature has dropped, some snow has fallen and we have all perfected our penguin walks when the sidewalks are icy. There’s no doubt about it, we are in the heart of the winter season here in the Reno area.
While we all can appreciate a chilly or snowy day, many of us spend much more time indoors cozied up on the couch. However, every time we turn on a space heater or crank on our fireplaces, the risk of suffering a house fire increases significantly. We explain some easy fire-safe tips below so you can stay safe while also staying warm.
The ambiance of a warm, crackling fire can be the perfect backdrop for the season, but fireplaces can be really dangerous if they are not prepared or maintained properly. If you have a wood-burning fireplace, clean out ash buildup from previous fires and scrub down your chimney walls to remove creosote residue. Your chimney should also be inspected regularly for cracks or signs of aging.
If you have flammable materials on your mantle, remove them before starting up the fire and check to make sure your smoke detectors batteries are fresh. If you have an electric or gas fireplace, you should be checking the lines each time before flipping your switch on. A single gas leak or faulty electrical line can be seriously dangerous to your entire family.
Having a space heater in a room can add some much-needed warmth, but they can also be dangerous in their own right. In fact, about 1,700 house fires are started every year by space heater accidents or mishaps! Setting your space heater up the right way is the key to success.
Choose a hard, level and nonflammable material for your heater to sit on. Avoid carpet or rugs, and make sure the space heater is far away from things like curtains or couch cushions. Check the cord to make sure it isn’t twisted, and lay it flat to avoid creating a tripping hazard.
Create a three-foot barrier around your space heater to keep out kids and pets, and never leave it unattended in a room for any period of time. Never plug a space heater into an extension cord, and always be sure it is switched off and unplugged before going to bed.
Not all space heaters are created equally, and some brands are safer and more reliable than others. That’s why it is so important to do your research before purchasing anything! Just because something is on sale doesn’t necessarily make it a good deal.
First off, make sure you are purchasing your heater from a certified and reliable company. This company should have passed all of its necessary safety certifications before manufacturing the heater in question and should have positive reviews online. Next, make sure it has a safety shutoff feature that can take over to turn off after a certain period. This can be a helpful backup if you have a busy family or have a hard time remembering to shut off appliances.
Finally, take the time to inspect the cord coming out of the heater. It should be at least six feet long so you can set it up in a safe location and should be made of high quality and sturdy materials.
We wish you a safe and warm rest of your winter season! House fires can start in any manner of ways, so call us right away if you suffer from fire damage. We will take care of your entire restoration from start to finish.
A quick fire damage restoration is just a phone call away. Call SERVPRO® for immediate assistance.