A home fire is nothing to take lightly. Not only can this damage your property and belongings, but it can lead to serious injury and even death.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, there were 369,500 home fires in the United States in 2013. Furthermore, these fires resulted in 2,755 deaths and 12,200 injuries.

For many, the 2014-2015 winter season has been one of the worst ever. While the cold weather and snow will give way to sunshine soon enough, you aren’t out of the woods just yet.

A home fire can happen at any time of the year. Here are three tips to avoid trouble during the winter months:

  1. Have your fireplace inspected by a professional. Many people enjoy heating their home with a fireplace, but they don’t realize it is also a fire hazard. Even if you think your fireplace is in perfect working condition, it is better to be safe than sorry.
  2. Don’t heat your house with your stove. Many years ago, this is something that people were doing on a regular basis. Using a gas stove to heat your home is a huge mistake, as it could lead to a fire.
  3. Keep fire hydrants clear. If you have a hydrant in your yard or in close proximity to your home, be sure to keep it clear of snow and other debris. In the event of a fire, you want to make sure emergency personnel is able to access the hydrant without delay.

Final tip: make sure your home insurance policy covers you for fire damage.

With these tips in mind, you can stay safe and warm this winter!