Small errors in judgment can lead to huge safety issues. This Valentine’s Day keep in mind some basic tips that can help avoid some major problems.

Kindle the Romance…Not Your Home
Valentine’s Day often plays host to candlelight, crackling fireplaces, and outdoor torches. These pose minimal risks when supervised, but they can quickly turn into huge conflagrations when left unattended. HouseMaster advises the following:

  • Blow out candles when you leave the room.
  • Keep clothing, blankets, and pillows away from fireplaces and torches.
  • If you haven’t started your fireplace in a long time, inspect and test it beforehand. Poorly operating fireplaces are not just a fire hazard but they’re also a carbon monoxide danger.
  • Forgotten meals in the oven or on the stovetop can lead to fires. Consider using timers to remind you of the meal, and as always, be sure all smoke/fire alarms are operational.

Traveling? Protect Your Home
Romantic getaways are a great way to say “I love you” this time of year; however, nothing will sour your mood faster than discovering your home has been broken into. Follow these simple security tips:

  • Use a timer for lights and radios to create the impression of an occupied home.
  • Arrange for a neighbor or friend to collect your mail, or have the postal service hold your mail temporarily.
  • Consider leaving a car in the driveway.
  • Check all locks on doors and windows, particularly on the lower floors.

Rooftop Risks
Flat rooftops can make for romantic views of the stars or skyline, but more often than not, these areas were not designed to be extended living spaces. Some precautions to consider are:

  • Even “flat” roofs are not completely flat. There is often a slight pitch to them, which can be dangerous to stand on.
  • Sun and wind damage can create warped and pitted areas, causing a tripping hazard.
  • At the very least, walking on roofs can risk damage to the protective coating, increasing the chance of leaks in the future.

Remember, these tips are only general guidelines. Since each situation is different, contact the appropriate professional if you have questions about a specific issue. More home safety and maintenance information is available online at