(WLNS) – There is a lot you can do to keep your home protected from the winter elements as well as save money on heating bills. But while you are checking your home for maintenance and repair work, you should also be checking to make sure it is fire safe. And while there are general fire safety recommendations for you and your family to follow (even your preschooler and other young children!), it is very important to make sure that your home is safe and secure against fire.
In the aftermath of a number of deadly holiday fires, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) urges the public to take simple steps to protect their family and property from fire. According to NFPA, December, January and February are the top months for home fire deaths.
“Recent fire deaths during this holiday season are tragic reminders that we are at the time of year when home fires peak,” said Lorraine Carli, vice president of communications for NFPA. “Taking simple steps to prevent fires and making sure you have working smoke alarms can save lives.”
The NFPA has suggested some things you can do this winter to stay safe from fire:
1. All heaters need space. Keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from heating equipment, like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove, or portable space heater.
2. Have a three-foot “kid-free zone” around open fires and space heaters.
3. Never use your oven to heat your home.
4. Have a qualified professional install stationary space heating equipment, water heaters or central heating equipment according to the local codes and manufacturer’s instructions.
5. Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional.
6. Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.
It’s also suggested that you have working smoke detectors and a fire escape plan that two escape routes out of every room and a meeting place outside the home.