Winter Weather Awareness Week: Winter fire safety

Updated: Nov. 16, 2022 at 5:00 PM CST
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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – Each year, the National Weather Service and Minnesota Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management work to promote winter safety and preparedness to citizens during Winter Weather Awareness week. This year, Winter Weather Awareness Week is from November 14th through the 18th in Minnesota, and also Wisconsin.

Each day this week focuses on one of five different topics about winter safety information: including winter driving, winter storms, outdoor winter safety, winter fire safety, and indoor air quality during the winter.

Wednesday’s topic is winter fire safety.

First, let’s start with the facts. Did you know that cooking is often the leading cause of fires inside the home? Open flames and heating fires are often the number two and three causes. Most heating fires involve fireplaces or chimneys. Nearly 3/4 of fire deaths occur at home, making it the most dangerous place to be in regard to fire. Are your smoke detectors working? Many home fire-related deaths occur in homes without working smoke detectors.

winter heating safety
winter heating safety(KTTC)

So let’s look at some different ways to be safe. Make sure to turn off any portable heating appliances before you go to bed for the night or aren’t home. That also means making sure that a fire in the fireplace is fully extinguished. You want to have at least three feet of space between any heating equipment and anything flammable. This also means keeping children and loose clothing away from said heating equipment. Be sure to have your chimney, fireplaces, and other heating equipment inspected by a professional before the start of the winter season. Keep a sturdy screen or lass closure in front of your fireplace. Make sure there are smoke detectors installed on every level of your home, including your basement. And don’t forget to test them monthly. Lastly, be sure to store and display holiday decor far wary from heating sources. If you use a tree, make sure to water it daily because a dry tree can be engulfed by a fire in an instant.