Temperature Drops and the Risk of a Heating Fires Increase
The cooler temperatures this week serve as a reminder that winter is approaching. Winter brings with it, the highest number of home fires, more than any other time of year! Heating equipment is the second leading cause of home fires in the United States, and accounted for 45,900 fires from 2013 to 2015. Sadly, these fires resulted in an average of 205 deaths each year and 725 injuries. According to US Fire Administration reports, 29% of heating related fires occurred because the heat source was placed too close to items that can burn.
In our area we, often see fires during the colder months resulting from heating equipment. Simple preventative measures such as having your fireplace and chimney checked and cleaned each year can prevent fires from occurring.
To help keep our community safe and warm this season, Klamath County Fire District No. 1 recommends that you follow these guidelines:
- Keep all things that can burn, such as paper, bedding or furniture, at least 3 feet away from heating equipment.
- Place space heaters on a solid, flat surface.
- Turn portable heaters off when you go to bed or leave the room.
- Plug power cords only into outlets with sufficient capacity and never into an extension cord.
- Inspect for cracked, frayed or broken plugs or loose connections. Replace before using.
- Have your chimney inspected each year and cleaned if necessary.
- Use a sturdy fireplace screen.
- Allow ashes to cool before disposing. Dispose of ashes in a metal container.
- Install smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home. For the best protection interconnect all smoke alarms throughout the home — when one sounds, they all sound. Test smoke alarms at least once a month.
- Install and maintain a carbon monoxide alarm in a central location outside each sleeping area.
- Never use an oven to heat your home.
- For fuel assistance, contact the National Fuel Funds Network at 1-202-824-0660.
With simple precautions, help us decrease home-heating fires this winter.
References and resources:
- U.S. Fire Administration, https://www.usfa.fema.gov/prevention/outreach/heating.html