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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

The Increase Of and How To Prevent Winter Fires in Your East Fishkill Home

12/9/2020 (Permalink)

A photo of a burning Christmas tree in a living room. Fire risks increase dramatically every winter season, take extra precautions!

Take precautions now to help prevent winter fires in your Dutchess County home. While winter brings about the holidays, it also brings colder temperatures and increased snowfall, and results in a higher likelihood of residential fires in the Hudson Valley.

In any given year, winter is the most common time for residential fires to begin. While not all the common winter fire causes are specific to the season, they are more common during cooler weather and thus increase the chances for a fire to occur. More festivities involving cooking, the use of candles, holiday décor and trees, utilizing space heaters and fireplaces all add to the increase of chances of a fire occurring.

Behind the Increased Likelihood of Winter Fires:

An Increase in Cooking-
At any time of year, cooking errors are the No. 1 cause of residential fires in the country, but even this statistic is increased in the wintertime. With more baking, holiday meals and group cooking opportunities, the chances for a cooking error tend to become higher during the winter months, leading to an increased fire rate. Never leave cooking food unattended in the kitchen. Keep a fire extinguisher at the ready, and if you’re going to deep fry a turkey, make sure it’s done safely outside and away from any structure (including the deck or garage).

The Risk of Heaters-
Wood stoves, fireplaces and space heaters are all common forms of auxiliary heating during cold weather, and as long as precautions are taken, they are generally safe. However, errors in heating are the second leading cause behind residential fires during the winter months, making safety features and supervision an essential part of these methods. Space heaters should always be plugged directly into the wall, never on an extension cord, and kept far away from flammable items, bedding and decorations. Fireplaces and chimneys should be cleaned by a professional every year to avoid creosote build up and potential hazards.

Candles and Decorations-
Candles and other decorations are another leading cause of residential wintertime fires. Candles are inherently hazardous due to the open flame—it can spread to surrounding areas if conditions are right. Don’t keep them near a door or window and never amongst the holiday décor that is usually super flammable. For electronics, frayed wires and general overheating can pose a fire risk, so it is important to be cautious with those as well.

Christmas trees that haven’t been watered or are drying out pose a huge fire risk. Over 150 home fires each year are caused by Christmas trees. Candles and lighting can spark a fire and a dry tree can go up in flames in seconds. Keep your tree watered regularly and away from any heat source.

Prevention Tips for Wintertime Fires:

Understanding the common causes of winter fires is an important step in prevention. By going about these activities with a safety-focused mindset and keeping the below tips in mind, individuals can help prevent any accidental fires from occurring this season:

  • Check smoke alarms once every 30 days and replace every 10 years.
  • Always monitor open flames.
  • Select space heaters with automatic shutoffs in case they tip over.
  • Utilize a screen every time you use a fireplace.
  • Draft and practice an emergency escape plan with your household.

If you’ve suffered a fire at your home in Poughkeepsie, Wappingers, Hopewell Junction, Beacon or East Fishkill home or business, we’re here to help. SERVPRO of Western Dutchess County is the local leader in property damage restoration and can help you recover quickly after a fire occurs

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