Fire Safety Tips for the Winter
Winter is one of the most dangerous seasons due to the need to heat your home, cook large meals, and decorate for the holidays.
Half of all winter house fires occur between December and February; over 905 people die in winter home fires each year, according to the National Fire Incident Reporting System. Two-thirds of those fires occur in single and multifamily homes. During the winter months cooking triggers most house fires, while heating equipment is the culprit of one in seven house fires and one in five winter house fire deaths. More than one-third of home decoration fires are started by candles, so be sure to keep all candles at least 12 inches away from anything that can burn.
Keep this checklist from the U.S. Fire Administration handy around your home to keep you and your family safe.
What you should know about home cooking safety:
- Be on alert! If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol, don’t use the stove or stovetop.
- Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling, boiling, or broiling food.
- If you are simmering, baking, or roasting food, check it regularly, remain in the kitchen while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you are cooking.
- Keep anything that can catch fire — oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels or curtains — away from your stovetop.
If you have a cooking fire:
- Just get out! When you leave, close the door behind you to help contain the fire.
- Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number after you leave.
- If you try to fight the fire, be sure others are getting out and you have a clear way out.
- Keep a lid nearby when you’re cooking to smother small grease fires. Smother the fire by sliding the lid
over the pan and turn off the stovetop. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled.
- For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed.
For More Information: https://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education/By-topic/Top-causes-of-fire/Cooking
Safety Considerations for Heating Your Home:
- Only plug one heat-producing electrical appliance in at a time in an electrical socket (such as a space heater).
- Make sure your space heater can automatically turn off in case it tips over.
- Keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from fireplaces, wood stoves, radiators or space heaters.
- Close wood stove doors unless stoking the fire or adding wood or pellets.
- Get a qualified professional to inspect your chimney and vents every year.
- Install a metal or heat tempered screen around your fireplace.
- Store cooled ashes at least 10 feet from your home in a tightly sealed metal container.
- Make sure to have a carbon monoxide alarm installed and test it at least once per month.
- Store portable generators away from windows and as far away as possible from your house.
- Shovel snow at least three feet away from fire hydrants to be sure firefighters can get to them quickly if the need arises.