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As the holidays approach, our homes become hubs of celebration and warmth. Amidst the festivities, it’s essential to prioritize safety, particularly to prevent a house fire. Here are a few helpful tips to safeguard your family, guests, and home.

Prevent a House Fire this Winter

1. Mindful Cooking Practices

The kitchen is usually the busiest room in the house during the holidays, but where fires are most likely to occur. Exercise caution while using stovetops or ovens. Don’t leave cooking unattended and keep flammable items, such as dishcloths and kitchen towels, away from heat sources.

2. Use of Space Heaters to Prevent a House Fire

As temperatures drop, space heaters are convenient sources of warmth. Verify these devices have ventilation if needed and are positioned several feet away from combustible materials. Follow manufacturer guidelines, and never leave a space heater unattended. Turn them off before going to bed or leaving the room.

3. Fireplace Safety Measures

If you’re fortunate to have a fireplace, enjoy the warmth responsibly. Schedule regular chimney inspections and cleanings to prevent creosote buildup, a common cause of chimney fires. Remove decorations from the hearth, use a fireplace screen to contain sparks, and never leave a fire unattended.

4. Prevent a House Fire: Hang Holiday Lights with Care

Festive lighting can transform your home, but it also requires careful installation. Inspect string lights for frayed wires or damaged plugs before use. Don’t overload outlets, and turn off decorative lights before going to bed or leaving the house.

5. Using Candles Safely

Candles add a charming glow to holiday decor but pose fire risks. Keep candles on stable surfaces away from flammable items. Opt for flameless LED candles for a safer alternative that still provides a cozy ambiance.

6. Prevent a House Fire: Electrical System Check

An overloaded or faulty electrical system can lead to a fire. Inspect your home’s wiring and address issues promptly. Never overload a single electrical outlet; space devices and electronics out. Use a surge protector to safeguard electronic equipment.

7. Emergency Preparedness

Equip your home with smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms. Test them regularly and replace batteries at least once a year. Create a family emergency plan with escape routes from each room and a designated meeting point outside.

8. Safe Disposal of Fireplace Ashes

If you have a wood-burning fireplace, dispose of the ashes safely. Allow the ashes to cool completely, then scoop them into a metal container with a tight-fitting lid. Keep the ash bucket on a non-combustible surface and away from your home and flammable materials.

These preventive measures will ensure a festive and joyful holiday season and make a safer environment for your loved ones. Prioritizing safety creates a home where you can enjoy warmth and seasonal celebrations without worry.

Crossroads Home Inspections offers professional inspection services to homebuyers and sellers in St. Louis and the surrounding area. Contact us to schedule an appointment.