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American Restoration Water & Fire, wants to remind you that the fall season is in full swing in New Mexico and temperatures are bound to drop very soon as winter approaches. With cold winter temperatures, come fireplaces, candles, baking, and…the risk of fire.

Yes. The unfortunate reality is that December, January, and February are the peak months for house fires. According to the National Fire Protection Agency, between 2007 and 2011, 12% of home candle fires occurred in the month of December. The top three days for home candle fires were Christmas Eve, Christmas, and New Year’s Day. Other main causes of house fires during the winter months are deep fryers for Thanksgiving and Christmas turkeys, unattended cooking, smoking, and heating equipment.

Here are some simple tips to keep in mind during the upcoming months to avoid a house fire:

  1. Do not burn candles in unattended rooms, near ledges where they could fall, or near combustible fabrics or materials.
  2. Do not leave the stove or oven on, unattended. Always remember to turn the stove or oven off when you are finished cooking or baking and on breaks between batches. Never use an open oven as a heat source.
  3. Before using a deep fryer, read the manual carefully and know the safety precautions.
  4. Only plug one space heater into an electrical outlet at a time to avoid burning a fuse or burning the wires within the walls of your house. Keep flammable materials away from the space heater at all times.
  5. If you smoke, smoke outside. Before discarding cigarette butts and ashes, dowse them in water or sand. Never smoke in a home where oxygen is being used.

By following these pointers and being responsible with fire and heat sources, you can avoid costly damage to your home this winter.