Home Fire Safety Tips for the Winter Season
The icy cold winter winds keep us inside where it’s toasty, but Saint
Francis Healthcare wants to warn the local community – home fires
skyrocket during the colder seasons.
Statistics show just how real winter home fires are. Half of all winter
house fires occur in December, January and February and 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 one- and two-family
homes. Cooking triggers most winter home fires, and between 5 p.m. and
8 p.m. is the most common time winter home fires happen. Heating equipment
is the culprit of one in seven winter house fires and one in five winter
house fire deaths.
Keep this checklist from the U.S. Fire Administration handy around your
home to keep you and your family safe:
- 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
- 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.
If any home fires should occur, Saint Francis Healthcare’s Emergency
Medical Services team is ready to respond. In the event of a second-alarm
fire, our Fire Ground Rehab arrives on the scene to provide victims with
immediate care. Our trailer is outfitted with fans and blankets to help
victims regulate their temperature.
Stay safe indoors and have a blissful holiday season!