As the weather changes – and consequently our behavior – with the season, so does the frequency and severity of house fires. At American Restoration, this time every year, we get an increased number of calls for fire damage restoration. What’s causing these winter fires?

Indoor Heating

With the drop in temperatures, people are spending more time indoors. The corresponding need for indoor heating is a factor in the increased occurrence of house fires. Furnaces and space heaters are most often to blame. In most house fires, combustible materials were left too close to a furnace or space heater. To stay safe this winter, never leave clothing, upholstered furniture, bedding or other flammable materials near your furnace or space heater.

Cooking

The holidays bring families together for quality time and homecooking, but the extra time we’re spending in the kitchen is putting us at risk of a house fire. Cooking equipment was involved in 46% of reported home structure fires between 2010 and 2014. So how can you prepare your favorite holiday meals without the devastating effects of a fire? Keep an eye on food that’s cooking, never leave it unattended. Avoid wearing loose clothing while cooking, and keep anything that could catch fire away from appliances that generate heat.

Holiday Decorations

As you decorate for the holidays, keep in mind that what you do can have an impact on your fire safety this season. Christmas trees, candles, Christmas lights are all potential fire hazards. Be sure to water your Christmas tree if you opt for a real tree. Neglecting to water your tree can cause the needles to get brittle and dry, and much more likely to catch fire if exposed to heat. Regardless of the kind of tree you select, you’ll also want to make sure that your lights are in good shape. Cracked lights can put you at risk for electric shock and fire. Candles can also put you at risk, so never leave a candle burning unless you’re in the room.

Taking these precautions can help prevent a winter house fire, but of course, things happen. Our fire damage team at American Restoration helps New Mexicans put their homes – and lives – back together after the devastating effects of a house fire. Call us anytime, 24/7, even during the holidays!

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