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    Fire Safety Tips for the Autumn Season

    September 17, 2016

September 17, 2016

Fire Safety Tips for the Autumn Season

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Most people associate autumn with the return of chilly nights, spectacular foliage, and cozy evenings in front of a crackling fireplace. But as colder temperatures return, so do autumn hazards, including an increased risk of fires.

Whether you’re planning get-togethers, family events, or quiet evenings at home, it’s important to ensure your house is safe as well as welcoming. Here are some simple—but important—tips to help keep your home and family safe from fire this fall:

  • Service Heaters and Furnaces. HVAC and other furnace systems should be serviced annually, before the start of the winter season. Regular maintenance can spot problems and help prevent dangerous gases or fires from harming your home and family.
  • Replace the Batteries in Smoke Detectors & Alarms. Establish a set “battery day” when you change the batteries in your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms each year. (Many homeowners do this on the day they turn back the clocks to Daylight Savings Time.) When replacing the batteries, remember to test the alarms to ensure they function properly, too.
  • Check or Replace Fire Extinguishers. House fires increase in frequency during the autumn and winter months, and as cold temperatures return homeowners should check existing fire extinguishers and replace them if necessary. If you don’t already have a fire extinguisher in your home, consider buying one this autumn to help protect your house and family.
  • Exercise Caution When Burning Leaves. Many cities and counties regulate leaf burning, either by scheduling approved “burn days” or requiring permission and permits for burning leaves. Never burn leaves (or anything else) unless the law permits the burn, and always take safety precautions to ensure that fires remain in control. Also: never leave a fire unattended!
  • Reconsider Use of Space Heaters. Many people consider portable “space heaters” a convenient source of warmth in chilly months. However, many portable heaters exceed the safe electricity draws for power outlets in your home, creating a significant risk of blown circuits and electrical fires.
  • Practice “Candle Caution.” People love candles, especially in autumn and at the holidays, but the welcoming flicker of tapers also creates a risk of fire. Never leave burning candles unattended, and place them only on safe, stable surfaces away from high-traffic areas and out of reach of children and pets.

Fall is a happy, busy time when people begin to gather inside with families and friends. When preparing your home to welcome guests, or simply creating a cozy evening for yourself and your family, don’t forget to keep an eye out for fire hazards. A few simple steps can keep your home much safer, and more joyful, for everyone this autumn season.