Winter weather puts a chill on many of your favorite activities. But don’t sacrifice safety in order to stay warm. This time of year, many people forget the importance of fire safety in their rush to get heat into their homes. Unfortunately, this can place you and the ones you love in harm’s way. Your local fire department, Lancaster County Fire Rescue, wants you and your family to stay warm and safe throughout the winter. Here are some ways to protect your home and family safe from winter fires.

Service your heating system

Even if you think your HVAC system is operating normally, it’s better to play it safe. Get an inspection of your heating system if you haven’t already done so this winter. This gives you a chance to fix any problems that could pose a fire risk before disaster strikes. Even better, you’ll know that your home will stay warm on even the coldest of days.

Inspect vents, ducts, and chimneys

Next, be sure to have your vents, air ducts, and chimneys professionally cleaned. Don’t forget to check your home’s air filters, too. Proper ventilation and air circulation is crucial for wintertime safety.

Use caution with candles and space heaters

Candles and space heaters are two of the leading causes of household fires. Watch where you put these items in your home and be careful when you put anything near them, too. A heat source that’s too close to a flammable object can start a fire. Keep these items away from young children and never go to sleep or leave your home when a candle is lit or a space heater is turned on.

Test smoke and carbon monoxide alarms

Check your carbon monoxide and smoke alarms, even if you’ve checked them in the recent past. Monthly testing is recommended. If any of these devices aren’t working, get them fixed or replaced as soon as possible. They can save your family from a deadly situation.

Lancaster County Fire Rescue is ready to help you in your hour of need – and to help you avoid a dangerous situation in the first place. For more information on fire safety, contact your local fire department.