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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

A Toasty and Fire-Safe Season | SERVPRO of East Brownsville & South Padre Island

1/16/2024 (Permalink)

brick chimney with lit fire logs Fire safety is a top priority for us at SERVPRO of East Brownsville & South Padre Island this winter. Keep your home safe with these helpful tips!

Even in our mild climate, the late months of winter bring us the joy of cozy sweatshirts and fuzzy blankets. With cooler temperatures in the mornings and evenings, many of us may be reaching for space heaters or making a crackling fire in our fireplaces.

House fires rise dramatically in the winter, and many of them start from preventable accidents. That doesn’t mean you can’t keep your home nice and toasty—with a few simple steps, you can stay as warm as you want and as safe as possible.

Addressing Your Fireplace

If you have a fireplace in your home, it can be a great secondary source of heat when the occasional winter storm moves through and knocks the power out. Fireplaces come with risks, though, especially when they are not used correctly.

If your fuel source in your fireplace is wood, you should be cleaning ash and other debris out after every fire. Your chimney, regardless of heat source, should be professionally inspected and cleaned every year.

Make sure there are no flammable materials near your fireplace, including hanging off your mantle. If you have an electric or gas fireplace, make sure everything is well-connected before turning on the flames.

You should have a smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector in the room or right outside of it with fresh batteries to help keep your family safe as well. Keeping a fire extinguisher in the room isn’t a bad idea either.

Space Heater Safety

Since our Texas temperatures are generally warmer even in the winter, space heaters are a popular heating source. Being able to heat a room without overheating the whole house is convenient, but space heaters are responsible for nearly 1,700 house fires each year.

When you use a space heater, make sure it is placed on a solid, flat surface. Keep a three-foot radius of open space around it, and make sure your pets and children understand they shouldn’t be near it. Check the cord before you plug it in for any signs of aging, and always plug it directly into the wall.

Space heaters are designed to heat a whole room, so while it may be tempting to put it directly next to you, let it do its job away from the couch, curtains or anything else that could catch fire. Turn your space heater off before heading to bed at night as well.

Suggested Safety Features for Your Space Heater

There are a lot of options when it comes to purchasing space heaters. They come in a wide variety of sizes with differing features, and while they all come with some safety features, there are a few that you want to look for to ensure your home is as safe as possible.

Research the manufacturer of the product to ensure their heaters go through plenty of testing and they are both certified and reliable. Your heaters should have an automatic shutoff feature that works when the unit is tipped and when it has run for a certain length of time.

The cord on your space heater should be at least six feet long, and it should feel sturdy and well-made. Space heaters should never be plugged in an extension cord, so make sure you know what length cord you need so stay as cozy as possible.

Spend some time making sure your fireplace is safe for use, and never leave a space heater running unattended. If something does happen, call SERVPRO of East Brownsville & South Padre Island right away. We can handle smoke, soot or any other fire damage quickly.

A quick fire damage restoration is just a phone call away. Call SERVPRO® for immediate assistance.

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