Don’t Spoil the Serenity of the Season with a House Fire
Tips for playing it safe — start with battery operated candles!

By:  Virginia Kinneman
Kinneman Insurance

Kinneman InsuranceWith the cold winter months comes the rise in home heating costs and the increased use of alternative heating sources. Statistics show that the number of home fires increases dramatically during the winter months, fueled in part by the increase in alternative heating sources, seasonal displays, and candles.

According to the latest figures from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), fireplaces, space heaters and chimneys were involved in 68 percent of the home heating fires reported to the nation’s fire departments.

It’s important to make sure you take the appropriate steps to protect what matters to you most – your loved ones and your property. Most home fires are preventable. By taking a few simple precautions, you can help ensure a warm and safe winter.

At the Top of the Safety List:
Don’t leave children or pets unattended near any heating source.
Create an evacuation plan for your home and make sure everyone in your home knows what to do in case of a fire.

Fireplaces and Woodstoves
Have chimneys professionally inspected at least once a year.
Burn only wood, not cardboard or trash.
Use a fireplace screen big enough to cover the entire opening of the fireplace.
Be sure to check with your local fire department and check local codes before installing a wood burning stove.

Here are some tips for a safer operation of alternative heating sources:  Space Heaters
Place space heaters at least three feet away from anything combustible.
Use only heaters with the Underwriters Laboratory (UL) safety listing.
Avoid using extension cords with space heaters. If you must use one, be sure the cord is marked “12-guage” or “14-guage”.
Before you buy a kerosene heater, check with your local fire department to ensure that it is legal.
Use only the fuel recommended by the manufacturer.
Be sure portable heating devices are off when you leave the room.

Never use lighted candles on Christmas trees or other evergreens.
Always use stable, nonflammable candle holders.
Always keep burning objects up high, out of the reach of children or where pets might knock them over.
Leave plenty of space between the candle and objects above
Never leave burning candles unattended.
Use battery operated candles.

To learn more ways to protect your home and family, contact Virginia Kinneman at Kinneman Insurance 703-823-8800 or go online at



Kinneman Insurance
50 S. Pickett St. No. 20-A
Alexandria, VA  22304  703-832-8800            



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