Rural Metro Fire encourages you to put a Freeze on winter house fires. During the months of January, February, and March residential house fires increase by over 10%. Annually, over 100,000 residential fires are reported during the winter months. Those fires result in almost 1000 deaths, over 3,500 injuries, and cost over $1.9 billion in property damage.Where are you most likely to experience a fire? In the kitchen. Cooking fires account for over 40% of the house fires reported and 20% of the fires reported started in the kitchen or cooking areas. The leading factor in the ignition of many winter fires is a heat source too close to combustible material.
- Maintain a (3) three-foot space around any heat source. Fireplace- give it space. Radiator- give it space. Space heater- well give it space. Candle- give it space.
- Never use an oven or stove top to heat a home.
- Turn off space heaters or gas fireplaces before going to bed or leaving the house.
- Maintain heating equipment, including chimneys, flues, and furnaces by having them inspected and cleaned regularly.
- Check SMOKE ALARMS. Change the batteries twice a year. Test the unit to make sure it is functioning.
- Smoke alarms have a 10 year manufactures life span. After 10 years they need to be replaced. Rural Metro Fire offers members assistance in replacing batteries and expired alarms.
- Have a fire extinguisher. Have a working fire extinguisher in the kitchen and on every level of your home. Check the extinguisher for an expiration and that it is charged.
- Add a carbon monoxide alarm to your home.
The second most important to thing to have, besides working smoke alarms, is a family escape plan.
- Develop a family escape plan- how to get out of your house in the event of a fire.
- Know two ways out.
- Plan how to assist elderly or disabled family members.
- Designate a family meeting place.
- Practice your escape plan with your family.
** Rural Metro Fire offers members an annual home safety inspection, including assistance in developing a fire escape plan.