Kohl's Cares Grow Safe & Healthy offers tips for preventing home heating fires in cold-weather months
More home fires occur in winter months than any other time of the year
Fires caused by home heating are the second leading cause of house fires, which is why more home fires occur in winter than any other time of year. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, half of all home fires occur in December, January and February. The Kohl’s Cares Grow Safe & Healthy Program, a partnership of Kohl’s Cares and Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, offers some important reminders to keep families safe this winter.
- Portable space heaters
- Place space heaters at least three feet away from anything that could catch fire, and never use a space heater to dry mittens or clothing.
- Small children and pets should not be left alone with heaters.
- Make sure the heater has an auto shut-off, so if it tips over, it turns off.
- Plug space heaters directly into outlets rather than into an extension cord or power strip.
- Have your chimney inspected and cleaned by a professional before using it. Build-up in the chimney, called creosote, can cause a fire.
- Never burn flammable liquids, cardboard or trash in your fireplace. These items can cause intense flames, which can start a chimney fire, send sparks into the room or cause toxic smoke.
- Use a fireplace screen to prevent sparks and embers from coming into the room.
- Overall prevention
- Put fires out and turn heaters off before going to bed or leaving your home.
- Never use the stove or oven to heat your home.
- Keep candles, matches and lighters out of the reach of children.
- Install at least one smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector on each level of your home, including near sleeping areas.
- Keep fire extinguishers in the kitchen, laundry room and garage, and inspect them regularly.