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Don't let your winter season heat up! How to prevent home fires in the winter.

A home burning down during winter.

Fire is not the first thing I think about when I think of cold mornings and snowy nights. But, according to the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), home fires are more prevalent in winter than in any other season. What, you say? I was surprised too, but as I thought about it, it became clear.

Winter usually means toasty warm fires, hot home cooking, and festive holiday decorations. All things that could and do cause home fires. Winter residential building fires usually occur in the early evening hours, from 5:00 p.m.–9:00 p.m., with cooking as the number one culprit. Although it's at its peak in December, residential building fire incidence is collectively highest in the 3 winter months of January, February, and March, according to the USFA.

Although it's at its peak in December, residential building fire incidence is collectively highest in the 3 winter months of January, February, and March, according to the USFA.

Here at Foremost, we are serious about fire prevention and education. We handle many home fire claims every year that could have possibly been prevented. We are always keeping track of the newest education and technology to help teach our customers to be fire safe. Check out our interactive fire page that offers not only great tips, but cool interactive features! Hint—make sure your speakers are turned on.

Fire is something that can happen in an instant and also be prevented in an instant.

So, before the crazy holiday season begins, read the following fire safety tips that can help you maintain a fire safe home this season:

  • Cooking. If cooking that delicious holiday meal involves using your stove top, make sure to turn the stove off if you leave the kitchen, even for a short period of time.
  • Space heaters. They are warm. They are toasty. And they are dangerous. Don't put anything near a space heater. Period.
  • Christmas tree. Enjoy that thing of beauty, but not for too long. The USFA recommends that Christmas trees aren't up for longer than two weeks. Also, your tree should never be thirsty, make sure it has water at all times.
  • Electrical Circuits. We know the strings of holiday lights are pretty, but please make sure not to overload the socket with too many plugs linked together. Use surge protectors and extension cords to separate sockets when you can.
  • Candles. They do provide a glowing light, but they are not safe. Avoid using lighted candles. If you must, place them in a candleholder that won't burn and never leave them unattended.
  • Smoke detectors. Since you will probably be cooking, entertaining, and having guests, what better time to check all your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors to make sure they are functioning properly.

By all means, enjoy your holiday. Just enjoy it safely! Here are some additional tips from Foremost that will help with planning fire drills and exit windows in your home, just in case.

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