Because of holiday cooking and using supplemental heat sources, house fires are more common during the winter. Make sure you have a fire extinguisher and that you know how to use it. Here are a few other winter fire safety tips to keep your family and your home safe.

1. Prevent Electrical Problems

House fires may occur when appliance cords are damaged or frayed. If you notice a cord on an appliance or electronic device is in bad shape, have a professional repair it. Otherwise, you’ll need to replace the appliance as soon as possible to prevent electrical shocks and the risk of fire.

2. Fire Safety While Cooking

To prevent fires, stay in the kitchen when you’re cooking. Have another adult around to watch young children and pets when food is being prepared. Keep pot handles turned inward and wear well-fitting clothing. Make sure to store paper plates, napkins, and dish towels away from cooking appliances.

3. Safety Around the Fireplace

If you use a fireplace to heat your home, learn proper safety for burning wood. Before you build a fire this winter, make sure the chimney and fireplace have been cleaned. Have a professional inspect for damage and make necessary repairs. Only burn seasoned hardwoods. Never leave a fire unattended, and make sure the fire is completely out before leaving your home or going to bed.

4. Fire Safety: Test Your Smoke Alarms this Winter

Smoke detectors save lives by providing an early warning in case of fire. As you prepare your home for winter weather, also test the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Replace the batteries if needed.

5. Use Space Heaters Safely

Space heaters are a great way to warm up a small area, but make sure you’re using them safely. Use the heater on a flat, level surface and keep flammable items, including curtains, furniture, and rugs at least 3 feet away. Never leave a heater unattended and unplug it before going to bed.

6. Be Cautious When Burning Candles

Candles make your home feel more festive during the holidays, but it’s important to use them safely. Burn candles in a non-cluttered space in stable candle holders, and keep clothing and fabrics away from the flame at all times. Any fire, even the smallest live flame, should be well out of the reach of children.

A house fire can cause severe damage, so it’s important to follow these fire safety tips. They will help to keep your home and your family safe all winter long.

R. Sorensen Construction and Inspections provides home inspection services in Eastern Oregon. Contact us to request an appointment.