Winter Fires

  • 82% of all fire deaths occur in the home
  • Electrical fires are a special concern during the winter months, which call for more indoor activities and increased use of lighting, heating and appliances
  • Deaths caused by winter fires are particularly preventable

Winter Fires Life-Saving Tips

  • Dispose of hot ashes in metal containers placed away from the house
  • Have your furnace and chimney professionally inspected annually and cleaned if necessary, chimney tar build-up is a common cause of chimney fires
  • If there is a fire hydrant near your home, keep it clear of snow for easy access
  • Install a smoke alarm on every level of your home, test smoke alarm batteries every month and change them at least once a year; consider installing a 10-year lithium battery-powered smoke alarm, which is sealed so it cannot be tampered with or opened
  • Make sure wood stoves are properly installed, away from combustible surfaces, have the proper floor support and adequate ventilation; never use flammable liquids such as gasoline to start or accelerate fire
  • Make sure your space heaters have an emergency shut off in case they tip over; kerosene heaters are not permitted in many areas; only use the fuel recommended by the manufacture and ever refill a space heater while it is operating or still hot; refuel outside, away from the house
  • Never thaw frozen pipes with a blow torch or other open flame, use hot water or a Underwriters Laboratories listed device such as a hand-held dryer
  • Never use the range or oven to heat your home
  • Use a glass or metal screen in front of your fireplace to prevent sparks igniting nearby carpets or furniture