Editorial: Take precaution against fires in winter months

Published 10:28 pm Monday, December 18, 2017

With the winter season here, it’s unfortunately not uncommon to see more and more house fires.

According to the U.S. Fire Administration, people are at greater risk in the winter season when they cook holiday meals, display decorations and may use unsafe heating sources.

The National Fire Incident Reporting System from 2010 through 2012 found that cooking is the leading cause of all winter home fires, with 5 to 8 p.m. being the most common time for fires to take place.

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According to statistics, winter house fires account for only 8 percent of the total number of fires in the United States but result in 30 percent of all fire deaths.

What can be done to prevent fires from taking place or being aware of them quickly when they may begin?

Here are some tips from the U.S. Fire Administration:

• Keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from heat sources like fireplaces, wood stoves, radiators or space heaters.

• Plug only one heat-producing appliance, such as a space heater, into an electrical outlet at a time.

• Keep portable generators outside, away from windows and as far away from your home as possible. Install a carbon monoxide detector and text levels at least once a month.

• Never leave a burning candle alone.

• Water fresh-cut Christmas trees every day.

• Throw away holiday light strands with frayed or pinched wires. Turn off all lights before going to bed each night.

• Keep anything that can catch fire — such as oven mitts, towels and food packages — away from your stovetop.

• Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, boiling, grilling or broiling food.

• In case of an oven fire, turn off the oven and keep the door closed until it is cool.

Above all, make sure to check your smoke alarms regularly. If a fire does occur, you want to be notified as soon as possible.