Important Winter Fire Safety Tips from the National Fire Protection Association
Will you be winterizing your home as the weather gets colder? There is a lot you can do to keep your home protected from the winter elements as well as save money on heating bills. But while you are checking your home for maintenance and repair work, you should also be checking to make sure it is fire safe. And while there are general fire safety tips for you and your family to follow (even your preschooler and other young children!), it is very important to make sure that your home is safe and secure against fire.
In the aftermath of a number of deadly holiday fires, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) urges the public to take simple steps to protect their family and property from fire. According to NFPA, December, January and February are the top months for home fire deaths.
“Recent fire deaths during this holiday season are tragic reminders that we are at the time of year when home fires peak,” said Lorraine Carli, vice president of communications for NFPA. “Taking simple steps to prevent fires and making sure you have working smoke alarms can save lives.”
NFPA has suggested ten things you can do this winter to stay safe from fire:
- All heaters need space. Keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from heating equipment, like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove, or portable space heater.
- Have a three-foot “kid-free zone” around open fires and space heaters.
- Never use your oven to heat your home.
- Have a qualified professional install stationary space heating equipment, water heaters or central heating equipment according to the local codes and manufacturer’s instructions.
- Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional.
- Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.
- Always use the right kind of fuel, specified by the manufacturer, for fuel-burning space heaters.
- Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room. Ashes should be cool before putting them in a metal container with a lid. Keep the container a safe distance away from your home.
- Make sure you have working smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside each bedroom and outside each sleeping area.
- Develop and practice a home escape plan that includes two ways out of each room and an outside meeting place.
Whenever you discuss fire safety with your preschooler, it's important to strike a balance -- make sure you give her enough information to stay safe while not frightening her. By preparing her for what to do in case their is a fire in your home, you are giving her an important tool that will help her stay safe.
The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) and NFPA are working together to remind everyone that home fires are more prevalent in winter than in any other season. Learn more information about the organizations’ joint safety campaign.
About the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
The National Fire Protection Association is a worldwide leader in fire, electrical, building, and life safety. The mission of the international nonprofit organization founded in 1896 is to reduce the worldwide burden of fire and other hazards on the quality of life by providing and advocating consensus codes and standards, research, training, and education. Visit NFPA’s website at www.nfpa.org for more information.
Source: The National Fire Protection Association