Tips to Keep Warm And Safe This Winter

October 20, 2009

(NewsUSA) – Few things seem as cozy as a mug of cocoa, a good
book and a winter fire. But roasting chestnuts can sometimes lead to charred living rooms.

Colder temperatures and holiday celebrations mean heating, candles and cooking. Between
December 25 and 26 alone, U.S. fire departments will respond to 12,600 house fires. Winter fires
prove especially damaging. Some holiday decorations are highly flammable, and icy roads and winter
storms can slow fire department response times. In very cold temperatures, frozen pipes can prevent
firefighters from using water.

One new technology fights fires without using water. ARA Safety (, a technology company that focuses on
life-saving devices, developed the FIT-5, a handheld, non-toxic fire knockdown tool. Firefighters
pull a string, then toss the FIT-5 into a burning room. The deployed Fit-5 interrupts the fire and
rapidly lowers indoor temperatures, making rescue operations safer.

Still, it is better to prevent fires than to fight them. Here are some fire-prevention
tips for a safer, warmer winter:

-If your pipes are frozen, do not thaw them with an open flame. Using a blowtorch to
thaw a pipe might seem like a bright idea -; at least until the pipe conducts heat into the wall
and starts a fire. Use hot water or a hand-held dryer to thaw frozen pipes.

-Avoid candles. Electric candles create the same ambiance but are much safer than open
flames. If you insist on real candles, keep the wicks trimmed to a quarter of an inch, and place
the candles out of the reach of pets and children. Never use fire near evergreen needles.
Extinguish candles when you leave the room.

-If you decorate with holiday lights, make sure that they are in safe, working order.
Inspect the lights for frayed wire and cracked sockets. Do not link more than three strands
together, or you will risk overloading your electrical outlets. Turn off the lights when you leave
your home.

-Get your heating system inspected. Whether you use a kerosene heater, a wood-burning
stove or a furnace, a home inspector can make sure that it's in optimal working condition.