When the temperature drops, you probably rely on multiple heat sources in your home. Fireplaces, space heaters and central heat all have varying best practices. If not followed, a fire disaster is likely to occur. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), heating home fires are most common in December, January and February. Protect yourself and your household by using heat sources safely. Based on the NFPA’s recommendations, ServiceMaster Restoration by Bailey has compiled home heating safety tips for your home in Des Moines, Iowa.

Space Heater:

Space heaters should be your top safety concern. The majority of home heating fire property damages are caused by space heaters. Other heat sources are less likely to cause home fires. However, we all know that some days central heat alone won’t cut it. Especially during the winter, you may need an added heat source. While using a space heater, make sure you follow these safety tips:

  • Only use space heaters with an automatic shutoff feature.
  • Set up your space heater in an open area away from flammable materials.
  • Keep kids and pets three feet away from your space heater at all times.
  • Never leave your space heater unattended while in use.
  • Plug your space heater directly into the wall instead of using a power strip or extension cord to avoid overheating.

Fireplace:

Using your fireplace in the winter is the epitome of a cozy day. Nothing compares to curling up next to a crackling fire in your home. In addition, a wood burning fire is a great alternative to relying on electricity or gas during a winter storm. Just make sure you make safety a priority while using your fireplace.

  • Schedule an appointment with a professional for yearly chimney cleanings.
  • Always close your fireplace screen door while a fire is burning.
  • Dispose of ash properly by keeping it in a metal bucket outside, away from flammable items.
  • Ensure your fireplace is vented properly.
  • Keep a clear space of three-feet around your fireplace.

Detectors:

You can take as many precautions as possible, but sometimes a fire disaster is inevitable. Protect your home by installing and maintaining fire and carbon monoxide detectors.

  • Install fire and carbon monoxide detectors in every room and level of your home.
  • Make sure one of your carbon monoxide detectors is placed close to your attached garage.
  • Change batteries as needed and test alarms monthly.
  • If you smell gas in your home or near heaters, go outside and call 911.
  • Create an emergency plan with escape routes and meeting places in case you experience a fire disaster.
  • Include an emergency kit with items you may need for several days in your emergency plan.

We hope these tips keep your home free of winter heating fires. However, if you experience a fire disaster, contact ServiceMaster Restoration by Bailey at (844) 338-5447. Once a fire occurs, quick and efficient cleanup is key. That’s why you can count on us 24/7 for emergency fire restoration services in Des Moines, Iowa.