As the fall season brings cooler temperatures outside, inside things are warming up. During the fall and winter months fire hazards in your home or business stem largely from heating the space. According to the American Red Cross there is even a drastic increase in the amount of US house fires during this time.

Assistant Fire Chief Alonzo Cady gathered the following fire safety tips and fire prevention techniques to help you stay safe during the during the following months.

1. Replace the batteries in your smoke alarms & locate fire extinguishers.

2. Develop a home fire safety and evacuation plan.

3. Bring fire safety to work through proper training and a post-fire recovery plan.

4. Check your Heating System!

Here are a few things you can do to reduce the risk of furnace fires:

  • Regularly replace furnace filters.
  • Keep all areas around the furnace clean and unobstructed.
  • Keep the burner area clean and clear of debris.
  • Keep all combustible items at least six-inches away from the vent pipe.
  • Never close off more than 20% of heat registers.

If there are any issues with your heating system, contact a professional immediately. For preventative care, have your central heating system cleaned and serviced by a certified HVAC contractor once annually.

5.  Keep your fireplace clear of debris, and have it inspected each year.

Additionally, here are a few things you can do to enhance fireplace safety:

  • Use a fireplace screen, guard, or glass doors to keep hot ash and sparks contained.
  • Store extra wood, and other types of combustible materials, at least five-feet away from your fireplace.
  • Never leave a fire unattended.
  • Burn seasoned hardwoods, such as oak, that have been split and stored in a safe and dry environment for at least six-months.
  • Keep fires small – Never overload your fireplace.
  • When building a fire, strategically place logs on a metal grate at the back end of your fireplace; always use kindling to ignite fire.

For more information, and to read the full article published by Woodward click here.