Fire damage can happen at any time. Overloaded power outlets, cooking incidents, or space heaters can increase your risk of a fire this winter. To protect your home from fire hazards, here are some quick and easy tips to remember to keep everyone safe. And if a fire should happen, it is important to know how to extinguish it to prevent damage.

Don’t Overload Circuits

Extension cords are a great convenience but putting too many plugs into one outlet could be a recipe for disaster. Whether you’re plugging in lamps, charging a laptop, or using a hairdryer, make sure that you aren’t overloading your electrical system. Just a small spark from an overloaded circuit could start a fire that can cause serious damage. Space out your electronic devices instead of plugging them all into the same outlet.

Don’t Leave Space Heaters Unattended

Many people living in old, drafty houses use space heaters to heat their homes. However, it’s important not to allow them to run unattended. Space heaters pose a huge risk for fire in the wintertime. Not only can they catch fire by heating things up around them, but they can overload a circuit and lead to a spark that has disastrous consequences. Make sure that when you go to bed or leave a room, you turn those space heaters off.

Use Fireplaces with Caution

 Winter also means an increase in the use of fireplaces. While a nice fire can make your home warm and cozy on those cold days, it’s important to use caution. Make sure your chimney is clean each year before you start up your fireplace. Damage or soot buildup in your chimney can quickly lead to a fire. An annual professional inspection and cleaning is the best way to ensure that your fireplace is safe to use.

What to Do if There Is a Fire

If you do have a fire in your home, your first instinct might be to throw water on it. But that might not always be the best way to tackle it. In fact, in some circumstances, throwing water on a fire can make it even worse or lead to electrocution. If you experience an electrical fire or one that originated from the kitchen stove, don’t use water to extinguish it. Instead, you should use a fire extinguisher. Make sure you have functional fire extinguishers ready for use around your home, especially in your kitchen and any other space where you use heat or fire.

Occurrences of house fires increase every winter. But the good news is that there are several easy steps you can take to protect yourself and your family. Most importantly, if a fire ever appears to be getting out of control, leave the house immediately and call 911. If you’ve suffered fire damage, contact Soil-Away today so we can help you get your home cleaned up.