Fires in the Fall- Tips, Tricks, and Treats for Safety

Fires in the Fall- Tips, Tricks, and Treats for Safety

While October is known for fading leaves, first frosts and pumpkin festivals, this month also brings multiple opportunities for a potential fire. As a result, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has designated October as fire safety month. Starting up the heater, sitting by cozy fires and lighting pumpkin spice candles can all contribute to fire hazards. Prepare your home with key fire safety tips below.

Safety on the Home Front:

Heaters

Falling temperatures will instigate the initiation of the heater. The NFPA recommends property owners test smoke and carbon monoxide alarms and service their heaters at least once a year to avoid serious consequences. It is also recommended that portable space heaters should be plugged directly into an outlet and placed at least three feet from any object that can burn. Be sure they are set for automatic shut-off as well.

Fireplace

The NFPA recommends routine inspections for the fireplace and chimney, establishing three levels of inspections to follow. Each level covers specific items depending on the fireplace and venting system. Basic inspection should occur annually for a chimney that will be operating under same conditions as previously, and includes checking soundness of chimney structure, flue and connections. The NFPA recommends hiring a certified technician to conduct these inspections. Only a professional will know to check the chimney for buildup of combustible deposits, called creosote. Creosote occurs when pollutants in the form of gases and particulate matter is released from burning wood in the fireplace.

Fall Decor

According to the National Fire Protection Association, nearly 900 home fires are reported each year. According to these reports, many of the house fires were sparked after decorations were accidentally ignited. In fact, two out of five fires are started by candles. Never leave candles unattended — always distinguish if you leave the home or go to sleep. Keep dried flowers, wreaths, cornstalks or crepe paper away from open flames, heaters or light bulbs. For jack-o-lanterns, place lit pumpkins away from anything that burns, including doorsteps, walkways and yards with dry leaves or grass.

Halloween Fire Safety

The National Fire Incident Reporting System reports that an estimated 11,200 fires occur over Halloween weekend each year, resulting in 30 deaths on average. Lorraine Carli, NFPA’s vice president of communications says, “Without proper planning and precaution, a seemingly innocent candle decoration or a flowing costume can quickly turn the holiday into a true horror.” In the event of fire or smoke damage, contact Rainbow International of Denver at 303-699-7111 for professional help in the restoration process. Rainbow International is available for emergency service 24 hours, seven days a week.

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