According to the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA), heating, holiday decorations, winter storms, and candles all contribute to an increased risk of fire during the winter months. The Golden Valley Fire Department reminds residents to take every necessary precaution this winter.
There are approximately 45,000 home electrical fires each year in the US, and there are a few pretty simple steps you can take to help avoid them.
- Plug only one heat-producing appliance, like a coffee maker or space heater, directly into a wall outlet at a time.
- Never use an extension cord with heat-producing appliances.
- Extension cords should only be used temporarily. Have a professional install additional wall outlets where you need them in your home.
More than one-third of holiday decoration fires are started by candles, and Dec 25 is the peak day for candle fires in the US.
- Keep candles at least 12 inches away from anything that burns.
- If you have a real Christmas tree in your home, make sure to water it regularly. A dry tree can burn very hot and very fast.
- Make sure your tree is at least three feet away from heat sources like fireplaces, radiators, space heaters, candles, or heat vents.
Carbon Monoxide (CO)
Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas produced when a fuel doesn’t burn completely. Improperly working furnaces, water heaters, stoves, and fireplaces can all produce dangerous levels of carbon monoxide in the home.
Carbon monoxide alarms are the only way to detect CO and should be installed on every level of the home and within 10 feet of all sleeping areas.
For more information about winter fire safety, visit the NFPA website.