Integrated Family Community Services 3370 South Irving Street, Englewood, CO 80110-1816 Ph: 303-789-0501

5 Winter House Risks You Should Be Aware Of

December 21 marks the official start of winter, and with this seasonal transition comes new safety and health hazards that homeowners need to be aware of. Be on the lookout for these problems, and do all you can to prevent them so you can enjoy the holidays without issues.

Dirty Chimney

More than 25,000 chimney fires occur every year in the United States. Collectively, these fires cause more than $125 million in property damage. Chimney fires often occur as a result of a clogged or otherwise dirty chimney. Over time, flammable creosote will accumulate inside the chimney, preventing smoke from escaping and increasing the risk of a larger house fire. Since creosote is highly flammable, it can easily ignite from regular use of the fireplace. To avoid needing the services of a company like Icon Property, make sure to keep all heating elements and appliances in good condition.

Dry Air

Indoor air is typically driest during the winter. While dry air lowers the risk of mold and mildew, it can cause nosebleeds and other upper respiratory ailments. To protect your family from dry air, install a humidifier and set it to 50 to 60 percent relative humidity.

Electric Blankets

Electric heating blankets pose a fire hazard when improperly used or maintained. While there are many different types, most are designed with heating coils embedded in a soft blanket material. Folding an electric blanket damages these coils and subsequently increases the risk of an electrical fire. So, if you plan on using an electric blanket this winter, roll it up and don’t fold it.

Space Heaters

Many homeowners use space heaters as an energy-efficient alternative to central heating. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), however, space heaters account for 40 percent of all residential heating fires.

Whether it’s caused by a space heater, electric blanket or any other product, house fires are highly destructive. The homeowner must hire a professional fire restoration company to remove the debris, clean the affected areas and ensure that no soot is left behind.

Gas Stoves for Heat

Never use a gas stove to heat your home. Aside from the fire risk this poses, it also carries a risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. This invisible, odorless gas causes headaches, nausea and fainting. Exposure to high levels of carbon monoxide can even be fatal. To protect your family, consider installing a carbon monoxide detector and don’t use a gas stove to heat your home.

There are just a few common house hazards in the winter. By familiarizing yourself with these hazards, you can make the necessary changes to protect you and your family from harm.

Tim Esterdahl

Tim Esterdahl is the editor of IFCS blog. He is a married father of three and enjoys golf in his spare time.
Tim Esterdahl

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Food Insecurity - The USDA defines it as a state in which “consistent access to adequate food is limited by a lack of money and other resources… A household is food insecure if, in the previous year, they experienced limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate foods.”

According to Feeding America, food insecurity is a problem. Almost 28,000 Douglas and 75,000 Arapahoe County residents (1 in 7 Coloradans) face this issue.

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Happy Prime Day! We need your help when you make a purchase today. Through the Amazon Smile program, .5% of your purchase can go to aid Integrated Family Community Services with their year-round mission. If you have not already linked your Amazon account to benefit IFCS, click on the link below. This is a free way to help us out. It costs you nothing and no charge is added to your account, but you need to use the linked account to assist us financially. Your purchase can benefit many in the community - you can make a "Prime" difference and generate smiles. #onecanfeed
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We are getting excited to start receiving backpacks and back-to- school supplies this week. We have 319 students being sponsored and are collecting extra supplies to provide for over 300 more children in our community. Let us know if you would like to donate to support this program - contact Sarah Rutledge at or (303)789-0501. Donations are due by August 2. ... See MoreSee Less

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