Causes & Prevention Strategies for Wintertime Fires | SERVPRO® of Van Nuys South
Winter features many holidays and cozy activities, but unfortunately, it can bring an increased risk of a house fire as well.
Even for areas like ours that do not get extremely cold temperatures, winter is the most likely time for a fire to occur in the home. Understanding the factors that go into this and how activities can be performed more safely is key to fire prevention during the winter months.
An Increase in Cooking
Time of year aside, it is consistently found that cooking is the No. 1 cause of house fires—and even this number is increased in the winter months. An increased frequency of time spent in the kitchen baking, cooking with family members and preparing large-scale holiday meals can all contribute to the likelihood that a fire will occur.
The Risk of Heaters
When Southern California gets its chilliest nights, being able to fire up the fireplace or plug in the space heater is a wonderful way to stay cozy at home. However, it is important to take safety precautions when doing so—heaters and fireplaces are the second leading cause of winter fires. Be sure your heater has adequate safety features and your fireplace has a grate or grill to harness wandering sparks.
Candles and Decorations
Holiday decorations bring out an extra festive air, but it is important to choose safe ones in order to lessen your risk of a fire. In general, candles are not recommended by experts due to the risk of introducing an open flame to an area. Electronic decorations are generally recommended, but checking cords and cables is important to prevent overheating or sparking.
The causality of wintertime fires is important to note, as are the strategies for preventing them. When enjoying the festivities and fun of winter, be sure to exercise caution during common fire-risk activities, and remember the following tips:
- Check smoke alarms once every 30 days and replace every 10 years.
- Always monitor open flames.
- Select space heaters with automatic shut-offs in case they tip over.
- Utilize a screen every time you use a fireplace.
- Draft and practice an emergency escape plan with your household.
If your home has been impacted by a fire, call us right away. We are leaders in restoration and can help you recover quickly after a fire occurs.