How to Prevent Winter Home Fires


It’s essential to take the necessary steps to prevent winter home fires, especially if you’ve had to find creative ways to keep your house warm. Space heaters and wood-burning stoves can work wonderfully to keep things cozy, but you must use them with extreme caution.

Leading Causes of Home Fires in the Winter

According to the National Fire Protection Association, heating equipment is the leading cause of home fires in the United States. Half of those home fires, approximately 25,000 per year, occurred during January, February, and December. Space heaters are the main culprit for winter home heating fires, but wood-burning stoves and fireplaces are also leading contributors. Other common winter fire hazards include:

  • Candles
  • Holiday decorations, including lights
  • Dry Christmas trees
  • Portable generators
  • Kitchen accidents
  • Heat producing appliances such as dryers and microwaves

Steps to Prevent Winter Home Fires

It’s important to keep your home and loved ones safe through the winter. Follow these safety tips to help you prevent winter home fires while still keeping your home a warm and welcoming place.

  • Keep at least 3 feet of space between space heaters and anything flammable, such as upholstery, wooden furniture, bedding, curtains, and mattresses. 
  • Make sure any space heaters in your home have an automatic shutoff function so that if it tips over, it will turn off immediately.
  • Never operate a wood-burning stove with the door open, unless you are adding wood or stoking the fire. The door must stay closed at all other times. 
  • If you have a fireplace with a chimney, have the chimney inspected annually. 
  • Schedule annual inspections and cleaning of your dryer vents. 
  • Turn all holiday lights off during the day, and avoid stringing more than three strands of lights together. Make sure the bulbs in the light strands and fixtures are the appropriate wattage. 
  • Never leave a burning candle unattended. Ensure candles are at least 12 inches away from anything flammable. 
  • Use caution in the kitchen and never leave a burner unattended. Avoid letting loose, flammable objects near burners, including clothing sleeves, papers, and kitchen towels. 
  • Never use an extension cord with an appliance that produces heat, like an oven, a space heater, a microwave, a dryer, or a toaster.
  • You should only plug one heat-producing appliance into an outlet at a time. Never plug two space heaters or other appliances into the same outlet. 

Call Black Diamond Water Damage & Disaster Restoration Today

We hope you never have to experience a house fire, but if you do, Black Diamond Water Damage & Disaster Restoration is here to help. Sometimes all the steps you take to prevent winter home fires might not be enough, and having expert fire damage restoration specialists to help restore your home is essential.

Our disaster restoration team is fully licensed and certified, and we pride ourselves on offering fast and friendly service. In addition to fire damage restoration, we offer biohazard cleanup, storm damage repair, mold remediation, sewage damage cleanup, and water damage restoration in Murray, Utah, and the neighboring cities. Whatever your emergency, Black Diamond Water Damage & Disaster Restoration is here to help 24/7. Give us a call today!


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