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The cooler months are just around the corner in Germantown. While curling up in front of roaring fireplaces, lighting sweet smelling candles and cooking family recipes create a cozy environment, they can also lead to home fires. According to the National Fire Protection Association, almost half of home fires from 2011-2015 were caused by cooking. That statistic is pretty daunting, but with a little planning and home maintenance, you can reduce the chance of fire and smoke damage in your kitchen.

Safety Devices:
No matter what you do, there is always a chance of a fire occurring. To keep your household as safe as possible, install smoke detectors and place fire extinguishers in easy to reach areas of your home, especially your kitchen.  Avoid placing smoke detectors next to doors and windows. Doing so can affect their functionality. Be sure to change the batteries and test often.

Fire Plan:

Create a fire plan including escape routes and meeting places. Always know more than one escape route from every room in your house and keep the routes clear of clutter. Communicate this plan with your entire household and practice the plan to ensure that everyone will know what to do in case a fire ignites.

Heating systems:

Keep heaters well-maintained. Replace heater vents and remove any objects on or around heating systems before use. Keep flammable fabrics like kitchen towels, clothing and drapes away from heat sources.

Kitchen Appliances:

Clean appliances like stoves and ovens regularly. This is an easy maintenance step that can prevent leftover fat and grease from catching on fire. Speaking of grease fires, never try to put them out with water. Smother it with a lid and turn off the heat source. If you are unsure about how to put out a fire, call 911 and evacuate your home.

Appliances like refrigerators and dish washers are more of a fire hazard than you may think. Faulty electrical components can catch fire quickly and spread rapidly. Always plug any type of appliance directly into the wall. Do not use extension cords and be sure to replace appliances with damaged power cords immediately. Unplug all appliances that will allow you to do so while not in use.

Last but not least, don’t leave heat source like stoves, ovens or candles unattended even just for a few minutes. Fires can get out of hand quickly. Be sure to stay up to date on maintenance and replace appliances if you suspect it isn’t functioning correctly.

We hope these safety measures keep your Germantown home free from fire and smoke damage. If you experience a fire, ServiceMaster of Germantown can clean, restore and deodorize damaged areas. We will create a restoration plan unique to your situation and communicate with you throughout the entire process. Contact us at 901-854-6225 day or night. We have technicians ready to help with your emergency 24/7. The longer you wait, the more damage soot causes.

Photo Credit: © Andrey Popov |