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Keep Your Home Warm this Winter

Tampa Tenant Warming Their Toes by the Cozy FireplaceFire Safety Tips You Need to Know

Winter months come with holidays, memories, as well as seasonal fire hazards. With more people using fireplaces, candles, and kitchen appliances during the winter months, incidences of residential fires also increase during this time of the year. Knowing basic winter fire safety is important to keep your Tampa home and family safe. These simple tips can keep common causes of winter fires at bay and ensure an enjoyable season for you.

Winter nights become cozier with a crackling fire. But fireplaces should be used with care and cleaned often to ensure that flames don’t stray. One of the most important safety tips for using a fireplace is to clean it thoroughly before each use. You can prevent burns and property damage caused by sparks from hazards like ashes, built-up soot, and debris. Keep a clean fireplace and you can enjoy your fire safely every time you light it.

As you are cleaning your fireplace, you should also make sure the damper is open and working properly before lighting your kindling. Proper ventilation is important to prevent smoke from filling your home. Once lit, fires should never be left unattended, and children and pets should be kept at a safe distance. Finally, take extra care when removing ashes and unburned wood from a fireplace. Coals from up to three days ago can stay hot under the ashes, so it is best to stir the ashes carefully and test for heat before you scoop them out. An annual chimney sweep is also very important to keep creosote deposits from building up.

Along with fireplaces, candles are a possible source of residential fires as well. Open flames should be used cautiously in the home. According to the National Fire Protection Association, candles start an average of 7,610 home structure fires each year. To keep fire risk low, always keep lit candles away from anything flammable like curtains, houseplants, and home decor items. You should also remember not to move a candle that has melted wax pooling in the center, and do not leave lit candles unattended. This way you can keep your candle-lit nights safe.

Many of our winter holidays also mean lots of food. All that extra cooking also increases the chances of kitchen fires in the winter. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, there are more than 189,000 cooking fires in the U.S. each year. Many fires are caused by unattended kitchen appliances.

To ensure that your holidays are kitchen fire-free, be sure someone is present in the kitchen when food is simmering or baking. You can also keep a timer to remind you to remove food from the stove or oven once you are done cooking. Most home cooking fires start on the stovetop, so make sure dish towels and other fabrics, as well as other flammable items, are far away from your stove burners. Spills or any overflowing food should also be cleaned up right away, and pots and pans should be in good condition.

Lastly, take extra care when frying in hot oil. Keep a pot lid nearby when boiling water or oil, and do not leave these unattended. If ever the oil starts to flame up, you should cover the pot with the lid, turn off the heat, and allow the stove and pot to cool.

These safety tips can easily keep your winter season free from fire hazards. Would you like to learn more safety tips for renters? We can help! Call 727-400-4722 to speak with a professional Tampa property manager today.

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