The season which has the most fire hazards is the winter. Any country which has a sharp dip in temperature, a change in precipitation and a need to be indoors, is a challenge for the fire service. So many accidents occur during the winter, that would not otherwise happen during the warmer, dryer months. So it is imperative to have a checklist to go over with family members and the relatives in their own homes to protect them in times of fire.
First of all, cold weather means colder houses. The main heating system or forced air system needs to be checked over every year to make sure that all components are working and will not break down during the winter. Boilers, gas furnaces and any other system should be in good working order and that is your responsibility. Included in that list of gas equipment should be your gas fireplace. The least bit of leakage can cause carbon monoxide poisoning and eventual death, if left unattended.
Speaking of fireplaces which require wood, they are another hot spot for fire ignition. Make sure that you use a well made grate, in front of the fire, to prevent embers from escaping onto the carpets. Secondly, make sure that the flue and the chimney are cleaned yearly. You never know what has nested or come to rest in the chimney during the off season. Do not try to clean a chimney with a vacuum hose. Call an experienced contractor to clean it out.
And lastly, when emptying the ashes, put them in a metal container, let it rest outside and do not put into the bin right away. Smouldering embers are another cause of fires during the winter.
Keep your house tidy and clean. A cluttered house with papers and dishes and food left lying about can easily catch fire with an accelerant. A cluttered house with too much furniture makes the fire escape plan hard to follow during a real fire emergency. When trying to stay cosy during the winter, do not rely heavily on portable heaters. They may tip over with any movement and catch the rugs or papers on fire. Do not place a portable heater directly under a window, near curtains, as the cloth can also catch fire. If at all possible, put the back of the heater against a wall and tie it into place, so that it will not get jarred. Remember to turn off the heater before retiring for the night and do not leave it in the bedroom in the on position.
If you are cold in bed, buy a brand new electric blanket. As with everything else, there are rules to follow with an electric blanket as well. If it is older than 10 years, buy a brand new one and throw away the old one. The cords inside can easily become worn so never fold a blanket, but rather roll it up as in a cylindrical shape and store away from other belongings.
Check for frayed cords and the thermostatic controls every few weeks. If you tend to use a parafin heater, do not leave it on all night either, as the fuel will absorb all the oxygen in the air of the bedroom and could do you damage. Keep bedroom doors shut and all the downstairs doors shut, so that a fire could not easily spread from room to room.
Information on fire fighting equipment and fire extinguishers for home or commercial use
Article Source: Winter Fire Safety: How To Protect Your Loved Ones And Stay Safe