From the CountrySnuff Out Danger From Seasonal Fires
A turkey's roasting in the oven, the stovetop's full with all the fixings. The table is set with fine silver and beautifully burning candles. To many, it's the ideal holiday scene.
To fire prevention experts, it's a scene that could go terribly wrong within a matter of seconds. To find out just how quickly your home could go up in smoke, COUNTRY Financial teamed with firefighters to demonstrate common winter season fires.
We tested what might happen if an unattended candle fell onto flammable materials. The entire room was consumed by fire within 3 minutes. Our test with a space heater fire engulfed a room in less than 4 minutes.
Fire damage is costly. National Fire Protection Association statistics show space heater fires cause $608 million in damage and candle fires cause $370 million in damage to homes each year.
With all the dangers lurking behind the beauty and warmth of the typical holiday scene, it's not surprising that late fall/early winter is the peak season for home fires.
I encourage you to follow these tips to help secure your home from fire:
1. Never leave burning candles unattended.
- Keep lit candles away from children and pets.
- Keep wicks trimmed to¼ inch.
- Always burn candles in or on holders placed on a level, heat resistant surface.
- Keep candles away from flammable items.
- Never let candles burn for more than 4 hours at one time.
- Select a space heater with a guard around the flame areas of the heating element.
- Choose a heater that has been certified by a nationally recognized testing laboratory such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL).
- Make sure the heater has an automatic tip switch, a device that turns off electric or kerosene heaters if they tip over.
- Place heaters on a level, hard, nonflammable surface - do not place on rugs, carpets, tables or countertops.
- Keep the heater at least 3 feet from bedding, drapes, furniture or other flammable items.
- Turn off the space heater when you leave the area, and never leave a space heater on while sleeping or if you leave home.
So, before your thoughts turn to the delights of holiday treats, Thanksgiving eats and sweets of the season, take some time to make sure your family and home are protected form the dangers of home fires.
See me for a Home Safety Checklist. Go into this season with the peace of mind that your home and family will be protected for many years to come.
Jeff can be reached at Jeff.firstname.lastname@example.org