Heating, holiday decorations, and winter storms all contribute to an increased risk of fires during the winter months. Here, the fire loss and burn injury Attorneys at Azrael, Franz, Schwab & Lipowitz provide tips on both preventing and escaping a fire.

Fire safety should be everyone’s responsibility; by testing various detectors in your home, maintaining fire alarms and sprinkler systems and keeping all exits clear of obstructions, you can avoid injury or death from the effects of a winter fire. The Maryland State Fire Marshall has provided the following guidance for winter fire safety.

Test All Alarms in Your Home or Office

Test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors on a frequent basis to ensure that they are working correctly. During a fire, the toxic flames can quickly impact decision making; every moment counts when escaping a dire. If your smoke alarm or carbon monoxide detectors are ten years or older, they should be replaced as soon as possible.

If you have a fire sprinkler system in your home or office, they require scheduled maintenance to stay operational. Some maintenance measures include making sure all non-electronic control valves work, remove coatings or dirt build up from sprinkler heads, and check water pressure for sprinklers. A thorough and full sprinkler system inspection is highly recommended.

Make Sure All Exits Are Clear

Firstly, you should be aware of all exits in the event of a fire. Check all exits in both your home and office to ensure you will be able to get to safety. Blocked exits Greatly increase your odds of getting trapped in a fire. Items such as chairs, tables or even holiday decorations should be placed away from all exits.

Smart Heating

When using a portable heater, be sure to use one that has been approved by an authorized testing laboratory. Plug electrical heaters into an outlet, never use an extension cord or power strip as they can quickly overheat and cause an electrical fire.  It is recommended to keep all portable space heaters at least three feet from any combustible materials.

When using fireplaces or wood stoves, ensure that these heat sources have been installed and serviced by trained technicians. Having your fireplace and chimney cleaned and maintained on a regular basis allows your fireplace to operate more efficiently while reducing the risk of a fire.

Never leave a burning candle unattended. Make sure to extinguish the flame before leaving the room. Electronic candles are an excellent alternative to burning candles for safety.

If a Fire Occurs Inside Your Home, Contact the Fire Safety Attorneys at Azrael, Franz, Schwab & Lipowitz

Fire safety is a serious matter and should be taken as such. If you or a loved one is a victim of a house or work fire due to the negligence of another individual, you may be entitled to financial compensation. To learn more about your legal options after a serious injury, contact the victim advocates at Azrael, Franz, Schwab & Lipowitz.