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How to Prevent Fires at Home This Winter

Patterson Plumbing & Heating

In winter months, our heating, lighting, and cooking tends to increase dramatically, and with them – the risk of home fires. According to the United States Fire Association, more than 900 people die in winter home fires each year, causing over $2 billion in property loss.

What many people may not realize is that home fires can easily be prevented with just a few, simple precautions:

  • Address frozen pipes correctly — Water pipes at home can freeze if your home gets cold enough. You may be tempted to melt such pipes by flame, not realizing the danger of this tactic. The pipe may conduct enough heat to ignite the wall structure inside the space and spread throughout your home. Instead, try using hot water or a laboratory-tested handheld dryer if you suspect frozen pipes. These easy alternatives can save both lives and money!
  • Use caution when lighting your fireplace — Fireplaces create a cozy aura and look beautiful in a home, but they must be treated with care. Shy away from using flammable liquids to fire up a flame. Also, be sure to install a screen to prevent embers or sparks from jumping out of the fire and onto materials that could cause a hazard to your home.
  • Inspect Smoke Alarms — It may slip your mind, but it’s important to periodically inspect your smoke alarms year-round. These devices can signal fires early on and alert you before spreading throughout your home. Double-check that you have at least one properly functioning alarm on each level of your home.
  • Have the furnace inspected — If you haven’t had your furnace inspected yet, now is the time. It’s best to let professionals handle all the complexities of this machine, so give us a call! During your annual furnace checkup, your Patterson Plumbing technician can identify issues that may seem harmless, but are actually quite dangerous. Your furnace is designed to emit exhaust out of a flute of chimney. If a component isn’t working properly, deadly carbon monoxide could poison your home’s air.

Finally, while not recommended, we know that some of you may still be using portable heaters to heat your home. While they are convenient for you, they are also the MOST dangerous. If you must use a space heater, be sure to keep them far away from flammable materials and turn them off when leaving the room or house. These machines may be small, but they are one of the leading causes of winter home fires.

At Patterson Plumbing & Heating, we’re available for all of your home’s plumbing and heating needs. Give one of our expert technicians a call today: 719-544-4922. Don’t forget to LIKE us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for more updates and industry news.

photo credit: Fire at Cultra Inn via photopin (license)

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