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Why winter is a prime season for house fires, and how to prevent them

Blog by Heather Davis | October 13th, 2015


With Thanksgiving just around the corner, it is inevitable that winter is fast approaching. Sadly, something that is common to winter is the number of house fires that happen each year. The Great Chicago Fire of 1871, which took the lives of more than 250 people and left another 100,000 homeless is what sparked Fire Prevention Week. This event, which runs from October 4th to 10th is a reminder to all of us that a house fire can happen to anyone at any time. Any steps we can take to mitigate the chances of one happening is something worth thinking about to ensure the safety of our families and children.

First off is the discussion of how well your home was properly built. An example of this is firewalls, which help to stop flames from spreading between semi-detached houses and townhouses. Secondly would be fire-resistant insulation, which is something that should be installed on all your exterior walls. It may not stop a fire from starting, but it will minimize the damages to your house and give you and your loved ones a chance to escape.

Homeowners have certain due diligences, number one being ensuring smoke alarms are working and on every level of your home. These should be placed close to bedrooms since about a quarter of all house fires start in the bedroom. Once you install your smoke alarms test them every month and make sure to chance the batteries at least twice a year. A simple trick is to change them when you change over your clocks. Smoke alarms have a huge success rate to saving lives, they cut your risk of dying in a house fire by about half!

Electrical fires are quite common, and since winter is fast approaching using our heat and electricity just goes up. You should have your home’s system check at least every four years, this number just goes up if your house is over 15 years old or older.  It is the homeowner’s responsibility to make sure that your home’s electrical system can handle the extra load, since it’s easy for bad wiring to cause an electrical fire. You should have a licensed electrical contractor audit the entire house and make sure everything is up to code.

Hopefully these times will help to ensure that your family is kept safe over this winter so everyone can enjoy the thanksgiving holiday!

Source: Mike Holmes

Heather Davis