When someone mentions fire season – your mind may go to summertime drought and forest fires. But there’s another type of fire season, one that we’re right in the middle of. Home electrical fires peak between December through March and occur primarily in the hours of 12:00 AM and 6:00 AM.
While electrical fires account for just one portion of the 1,345,500 fires in the United States in 2015, those fires resulted in $14.3 billion dollars of damage. Cooking fires account for over 50% of fires followed by heating related fires at nearly 11%.
It’s wise to follow the simple recommendations below and protect yourself from becoming a victim of fire.
To Reduce Risk of Cooking Fires:
- Keep a pan lid or cooking sheet nearby to cover the pan if it catches on fire.
- Place your grill at least 3’ from siding, deck railings, eaves and overhanging branches
- Keep boxes, papers and other packaging materials away from the stovetop
To Reduce Risk of Electrical Fires:
- Plug in only one heat producing appliance (such as a coffee maker, microwave, space heater) into a wall outlet at a time.
- Use extension cords only temporarily and never use an extension cord with a heat-producing appliance.
- Check your electrical cords. If they are cracked or damaged, replace them. Don’t try to repair them.
To Reduce Risk of Heating Fires:
- Never use an oven to heat your home.
- Turn space heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.
- Maintain heating equipment and chimneys by having them cleaned and inspected each year by a professional.
- Store cooled ashes in a tightly covered metal container and keep it outside at least 10 feet from your home and any nearby buildings.
- Keep anything that can burn at least 3 feet from any heat source like fireplaces, wood stoves, radiators or space heaters.
- Choose interconnected smoke alarms, so when one sounds, they all sound.
- Put smoke alarms inside and outside each bedroom and sleeping area. Put alarms on every level of the home.
- Make sure your smoke alarms work. Your family is not safe if they can’t hear the smoke alarms.
- Test smoke alarms every month and replace 9-volt smoke alarm batteries at least once every year.
- Smoke alarms do not last forever. Get new smoke alarms every 10 years.
- When you hear a smoke alarm, you may have less than 2 minutes to get everyone outside and safe.
- Install carbon monoxide alarms at test them at least once a month.
Please, stay safe this fire season!