Safety Topic: Cold-Weather Fire Risks

Reduce Cold-Weather Fire Risks

During the winter the chances of fire increases drastically.  As the cold weather hits, the electric heaters come out including fireplaces, stoves and other heating systems. Half of all home heating fires occur between December and February.  Cooking is the leading cause of home fires.  The best way to decrease the risk of fire is understanding what the risks are and exercising caution; can protect families and their homes from fires.

Here are some steps to help reduce chances of fires caused by cooking.  Never leave food that is cooking unattended because it can take only seconds for the fire to start. Be sure to keep anything flammable away from the cooking surface and cooking appliances are shut off before leaving the room.

Here are some guidelines to help ensure that no fires are caused by heating appliances that run off of some type of fuel.  Ensure that if you are installing any heating appliance that the manufactures instructions are followed or have a professional install it. Be sure that the heating appliances are cleaned regularly and nothing flammable is near the appliance. Never use an oven to heat the home, they are not designed to be used in that manner.

Electricity can contribute to home fires and according to the National Safety Council they estimate that between 600 to 1,000 people die each year from being electrocuted. Here are some safety tips to avoid fires and being electrocuted. If plugs are not going into the socket smoothly do not force them.  Make sure all electric cords are not cracked or frayed where electric wires become visible. Do not run the cords under carpets or high traffic areas. Extension cords are only meant to be used on a temporary basis so try not to use them for prolonged periods.  Check if any light switches or electrical sockets mountings are loose against the wall or if the actual socket is lose. When a cord is plugged in it should be a snug fit and if the cord begins to fall out shortly after being plugged in the outlet should be replaced.

Thank you to the Nation Fire Protection Association, the American Red Cross, and the Energy Education Council for their information and tips on Safety!