During the winter months, house fires increase significantly, according to the National Fire Protection Association. While house fires can occur in any season, factors such as holiday decorations, spikes in heating, cooking and increase in candle use are all known to increase the risk of a fire occurring. With the holiday season right around the corner, it is important to understand these factors in order to keep your family and your home safe.
Here are the leading causes of winter house fires and how to prevent them:
Candles are a very common decoration during the winter holidays. While they add to the festive aesthetic in a dazzling and cozy way, they can be a very dangerous agitator to a house fire if not properly placed and monitored. One third of home decoration fires have been recorded to have begun with candles. Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s day have the most recorded house fires.
– Keep candles at least 12 inches away from anything that is flammable.
– Make sure all candles are blown out before going to bed.
– Keep candles on a sturdy surface away from the reach of children.
- Christmas Tree
While Christmas tree fires are not common, once they do occur, they are extremely hard to stop. This is due to the tree’s unique ability to pull in oxygen due to their structural characteristics. 1 in 4 winter fires are caused by a heat source being placed too close to a Christmas tree, according to the National Fire Protection Association. It has also been recorded that 1 out of every 52 house fires caused by Christmas trees result in death.
– While picking a tree, choose one that looks fresh and healthy. The needles should be green, regardless of tree type.
– Water the tree regularly to prevent the tree from drying out.
– Do not place your tree next to any heat source, such as a portable heater. It is important to avoid placing the tree next to highly flammable objects such as curtains and couches.
– Turn off your tree lights when you are not present.
As the weather dips in temperature, the amount of heat used in homes rises. Whether you are using a portable heater, furnace, or a fireplace to heat your home, be sure to constantly inspect and monitor the safety of your method.
Avoid using a space heater if possible, they are responsible for 40% of home heating equipment fires.
– Keep flammable objects at least three feet away from any heat source.
– Do not place heaters under any furniture such as desks or cabinets.
– Inspect and clean fire fireplace before use.
While fires caused by cooking equipment are common all year round, it is important to be extra careful during the holiday season while cooking in larger amounts. US fire departments responded to an estimated average of 172,900 home structural fires per year that were started by cooking activities in 2014-2018, according to the National Fire Protection Association.
– Never leave the stove or oven on unattended.
– Create a “kid free zone” of at least three feet away from all cooking areas.
– Handles of pots and pans should be turned inward to avoid being knocked over, especially by children and pets.
– Do not keep towels, rags, or oven mitts near the stove top.
If you have any questions, would like further information, or if you have been affected by a winter house fire, contact Rubin & Rosen Adjusters at (866) 469-2358 or visit our website: www.rubinandrosen.com.
At Rubin & Rosen Adjusters, we put the people’s best interests before the insurance company. We work alongside you through the entire process and make sure you receive the claims you deserve.