A fire can devastate your home or business any time of the year. The winter months, however, are the peak time for structure fires. If tragedy does strike, remember that Menold Construction and Restoration is your fire damage restoration specialist in Champaign-Urbana, IL. There are steps you can take to lower the chances that a winter fire will ruin your holiday season.
- Be an attentive cook. Almost half of home fires start in the kitchen. Don’t leave cooking food unattended.
- Clean your oven. Many fires ignite because of an improperly cleaned oven or rotisserie.
- Choose a safe tree. If you buy an artificial tree, make sure it is labeled as being fire resistant. If you buy a fresh tree, check the needles. If they fall off when touched, get a different tree that isn’t so brittle and dry.
- Be careful where you place the tree. Insert fresh trees in a sturdy water stand and water the tree daily. Make sure your tree is not blocking an exit and is at least three feet away from heating sources, such as fireplaces, space heaters, and candles.
- Throw away your tree after Christmas. Dried-out trees are fire hazards and should not be left in your home or garage.
- Turn off Christmas tree lights when you leave the room.
- Use only indoor lights indoors and outdoor lights only outdoors.
- Replace strings of lights that are worn or have broken bulbs.
- Do not overload extension cords or outlets.
- Be careful where you place candles. The majority of fires caused by candles happen when they are put too close to combustible household items and holiday decorations.
- Use sturdy candleholders. Also, put the candles on uncluttered surfaces, where children can’t reach them.
- Extinguish candles when you leave the room and before you go to bed. Falling asleep was a factor in one out of ten candle-ignited home fires.
One other thing to remember is that a working smoke alarm may save your life. Regularly check to make sure your smoke detectors are functioning properly and that the batteries are still working. Alarms decrease by half your chance of dying in a fire.
Menold Construction and Restoration is located in Morton, Normal, and Champaign Illinois, and has been servicing Central Illinois for more than 35 years.