Cooler weather presents greater risk of house fires
Fall is one of my favorite times of year – the leaves start to turn, the holidays are on the horizon and football is on TV. But it’s also a time for caution. Holiday decorations, wind gusts that knock out the electricity and alternative heating sources all contribute to an increased risk of house fires during the fall and winter.
There were more than 362,100 house fires in the U.S. alone in 2010, killing 67 people right here in Maryland. As we mark National Fire Prevention Week, I am encouraging Maryland families to plan now for the worst. Conduct a fire safety walkthrough of your home and keep these tips in mind:
- Keep clothes, blankets, curtains, towels, and other items that can easily catch on fire at least three feet from space heaters and away from stove burners.
- Place space heaters where they will not tip over easily.
- Have chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a professional.
- Always use a metal mesh screen with fireplaces and leave glass doors open while burning a fire.
- Never leave cooking unattended.
- Be sure your stove and small appliances are off before going to bed.
- Check for worn wires and do not run cords under rugs or furniture.
- Never overload electrical sockets.
- Keep lighters and matches out of the reach of children.
- Never leave cigarettes unattended and never smoke in bed.
- Make sure cigarettes and ashes are out. The cigarette needs to be completely stubbed out in the ashtray or run under water.
Please help me spread the word about fire safety planning and preparedness. Click here for more information.