Fall Safety Means Fire Safety: 5 Tips To Last Through the Chill

The crazy ups and downs of this year’s fall weather have left many of us craving the warm glow of candles and indoor fireplaces. There’s nothing quite as cozy as a fire or coming home to a well-heated house after a long walk in the cold, but these seasonal joys also present safety hazards.

In honor of this week’s National Safety Council Conference in Indianapolis and the (albeit slow!) turning of the season, we hope these five fall safety tips will help keep your home safe all year long.

Service Your Furnace

Before you turn on your furnace for the first time this year, make sure it’s in top shape and ready for use. Have it cleaned by a professional. Tune ups usually run about $100. Not only does this help prevent a surprise failure in the middle of the night in February, but it can also prevent deadly carbon monoxide leaks and other serious, even fatal, situations. For more information on yearly maintenance, check out this article from This Old House.

Use Fireplaces Safely

Whether you have a wood burning or gas fireplace, yearly maintenance is key to keeping these beautiful features safe. Never leave a burning fire unattended, don’t allow children to play near the fireplace, and make sure a fire in any fire is completely out before going to bed. Also be sure to have the right equipment on hand to prevent fires, such as fire screens and a non-flammable rug. Read more on HGTV’s website.

STay Safe with Space Heaters

Some families must rely on alternative heating sources for their homes. Never use your stove or oven to heat your home; only use space heaters that are approved for this purpose. Because there are many types of space heaters, be sure to read the instructions before use. If your space heater requires venting, make sure you have vented it to the outdoors. Always allow at least three feet of empty area around space heaters. Consider a space heater that will shut off automatically when tipped over.

USe caution with candles

Candles are a beautiful way to light a room with a warm glow but they can also cause fires. According to the National Candle Association, almost 10,000 home fires start with improper candle use. Never leave candles burning if you leave home or go to sleep, and keep your candles away from both children and pets.

Change the Clock, Change the Batteries

Fall is a great time to prepare for next year. Give your home and family a healthy start. Change the batteries in your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors when you turn back your clocks for Daylight Saving Time. Be sure to test the alarms with the new batteries installed. It’s also a good time to check and replace any home fire extinguishers that may have expired.