The Santa Barbara County Fire Department is sharing the following winter fire safety tips.
It’s that time of year when the temperatures drop to a bitter low. During the winter months, we tend to spend more time at home with our family and loved ones, so what better way to protect them than by making sure your home is protected from any fire hazards.
Have Your Furnace Checked
Although this is something that many people believe they can do themselves, it is often safer to invest in hiring a professional to come and inspect your furnace annually. It’s always better to know when something is not working properly than to have it abruptly break down in those cold winter months when you need heat the most.
Check Your Chimneys And Vents
Fireplaces can produce creosote which has the capability of igniting. If your family lights the fireplace often, you most likely need an annual chimney inspection to make sure that there are no hazards capable of starting a fire. It’s important to always remember that when burning wood, use dry, seasoned wood which produces more flame with less smoke.
Test Your Smoke Alarms
You always want to double check that your batteries are fresh and will last you through the winter. Smoke detectors should be located in:
- The hallway outside the bedrooms
- In each bedroom
- On every floor regardless of whether there is a bedroom on that floor.
Always Cover Your Fireplace With A Screen
Either a metal screen or tempered glass will suffice to protect any sparks from leaving the fireplace. Still, you always want to make sure to keep kids and pets at least three feet away from a burning fireplace.
Beware Of Lit Candles
Although candles can set the mood for a relaxing and calming evening, they can be easily knocked over by kids or pets. Only light candles when you are alert and able to watch them, blowing them out whenever you intend to leave the room.
Beware Of Space Heaters
These devices require a good amount of space to be used without any fire hazards. Just like fireplaces, children and pets should not sit closer than three feet in front of a space heater. Avoid placing heaters near curtains, tablecloths or other flapping fabrics. Always make sure your space heater has an automatic shut off switch, which forces the heater to shut-off as soon as it reaches a dangerously high heat level.
Learn more about fire prevention at https://www.sbcfire.com/.