When is your home most likely to catch fire? The Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) reports that most house fires occur during the winter months, or from November to March. Moreover, residential fires kill 905 people per year, according to the U.S. Fire Administration. Stay safe with these important winter safety tips:
Think Twice About Portable Heaters
The USFA reveals that space heaters are responsible for wholly one-third of all residential heating fires. Space heaters result in four out of five heating fire deaths, adds USFA. If the use of portable and stationary space heaters cannot be avoided altogether, homeowners and residents should tread carefully.
The USFA recommends turning off all heaters before bed, plugging space heaters directly into outlets (rather than using extension cords and power strips), and placing all flammable and combustible items at least three feet away from portable heaters during operation. Homeowners should be especially careful to place and position heaters away from upholstery, bedding, mattresses, and clothes. If possible, purchase heaters that automatically turn off if knocked or tipped over.
Discard Damaged Electrical Equipment and Wiring
Damaged electrical cords, cracked outlets, and loose connections all significantly increase the likelihood of home fires. Replace any damaged electrical parts immediately, and consider picking up inexpensive finishing products to protect cables and electronics.
Rubber grommets or desk grommets, for example, fit into desktops and tabletops. Rubber grommets prevent cords from breaking or tearing by redirecting them away from table edges and doors. Small rubber grommets can be used inside computers and electronics to prevent tearing of internal wiring and absorb excessive vibrations. Quick fit grommets snap quickly and conveniently into place for easy installation.
House fires are especially common during the harsh winter months. Heat your house without incident by carefully choosing and operating space heaters and protecting electrical wiring with inexpensive furniture grommets.