With Halloween behind us and Thanksgiving and Christmas only weeks away, we will soon all be consumed in holiday planning, travel and Christmas break plans with the kids.  Before we get too involved and while the weather is still relatively warm, we all need to take a few minutes to get prepared for the “winter freeze” and do what we can to possibly prevent fires in your home.

The NFPA has the following tips to Get Ahead of the Winter Freeze:

  • Have your furnace inspected and services–this should be done once a year.
  • Have your chimneys and vents cleaned in serviced–not cleaning your chimney is the leading cause of chimney fires from built up creosote.
  • Store dry, seasoned wood for your fireplace or wood stove
  • Check the condition of your fireplace screen making sure you are using a metal or heat-tempered glass.
  • Have a covered metal container ready to dispose cooled ashes in.
  • If using a portable space heater, make sure it has an automatic shut-off.  Unattended space heaters are a leading cause of house fires during the winter months.
  • Do not plug a space heater into an extension cord.
  • Did you change the batteries in your smoke detectors when the time changed, if not, check and change batteries as needed.

All of these are great tips to not only get ready to turn on the heat this winter but also ways to keep your family and home safe from possible house fires.