Cooler temperatures can add lots of little items to your to-do list: dropping the heavy comforters at the dry cleaners, taking an inventory of your baking supplies, and making sure your family has all the cold-weather gear they need to get through the winter. 

There’s one more thing to add to your winter prep — fire prevention. Before you crank up the heater and get cozy by the fire, consider these tips. 

Inspect extinguishers, alarms, and holiday lights

Take a close look at your fire extinguishers (you should have at least one, preferably in your kitchen), checking for any damage to the container, broken seals, blocked nozzles or missing pins. If your extinguisher is not in tip-top shape, consider replacing it or contact your local fire department for a consultation. Run a test on all of your smoke detectors and replace batteries where necessary. And don’t forget about those holiday lights; replace frayed wires or worn-out cords.

Clean the fireplace and oven

What’s better than warm cookies by the fire on a crisp fall day? Prevent holiday mishaps by giving your oven a good scrub to avoid unexpected smoke and fire caused by burnt-on food. Hire a professional chimney sweep to do a thorough cleaning and inspection of your fireplace, and ensure your fireplace screen is a good fit for catching flying sparks. 

Use heating sources responsibly

Heating equipment is the second leading cause of home fires in the United States, and portable space heaters are a major culprit. When purchasing a space heater, ensure it has an auto-shutoff feature that trips the power if it overheats or topples over, and check for a label indicating it has been tested at a reputable lab. Do not use a space heater with an extension cord or power strip, and place it in a space with plenty of clearance. 

At Open Mortgage, we’re happy to offer simple solutions to the challenges homeowners face every day. We’re even better at providing friendly, trusted financial services for your lending needs. If you’re in the market for a new mortgage, contact us today.

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