Preventing home fires, fire safety lawyer

Preventing Home Fires in Winter

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reported that home fires occur more frequently in winter months than at any other time of the year. Americans suffer approximately $2 billion in property loss each year because of winter home fires – and almost 900 die annually in those tragedies.

Winter home fires account for only 8 percent of the total number of yearly fires in the United States, but they result in 30 percent of all annual fire deaths.

Home heating fires

Heating is the second-leading cause of house fires, deaths and injuries in the United States (cooking is No. 1) – and December, January and February are the peak months for heating fires. Space heaters are most often involved in home heating fires, figuring in 40 percent of them.

Some other facts about home heating fires:

  • From 2013-2015, an average of 45,900 home heating fires occurred in the United States each year.
  • Home heating fires peaked in the early evening hours, between 5 and 9 p.m.
  • Home heating fires peaked in January (21 percent) and declined to the lowest point from June to August.
  • Confined fires  accounted for 75 percent of home heating fires.
  • Twenty-nine percent of the non-confined home heating fires happened because the heat source was too close to a combustible item, such as a Christmas tree.

Some tips to avoid home heating fires:

  • Have a 3-foot “kid-free zone” around open fires and space heaters.
  • Never use the oven to heat your home.
  • Always use the right kind of fuel for fuel burning space heaters.
  • Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.
  • Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room


Safety and your Christmas tree

A dry Christmas tree burns faster than newspaper. In a demonstration conducted by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission in December 2018, the speed that a dry tree burned was eye-opening. In less than 10 seconds, a spark turned into a blaze on the dry tree, pushing smoke and flames into the demonstration room.

Some tips to avoid having your tree go up in flames:

  • Keep Christmas trees – or anything else that can burn – at least 3 feet away from heaters. (On average, one out of every 45 Christmas tree fires results in a death, the NFPA reported.)
  • Water your Christmas tree daily.
Preventing christmas tree fires in home

Candle and decoration fires

While candles create a fire threat anytime of the year, the risk is especially prevalent in the winter months, the NFPA reported. More than a third of home decoration fires are started by candles.

The association said in December, candles account for more than half of home decoration fires. The top three days for home candle fires are Christmas, New Year’s Day and New Year’s Eve.

Here’s how to avoid candle fires:

  • Keep candles at least one foot from combustible items.
  • Do not leave burning candles unattended.
  • Do not light candles in bedrooms.
  • Put out all candles before going to sleep.


Fire safety lawyer, tips for preventing fire in your home

What to do if your smoke detector goes off

It’s the middle of the night and you hear your smoke detector. Do you know what to do?

Many people don’t, experts say.

In a home fire, there’s no time to spare. A fire can become life-threatening in two minutes or less, and in five minutes, a residence can be completely engulfed in flames.


Some more tips on how to stay safe and prevent home fires:

  • Install and test smoke alarms: You need one on every level of your home and one in every bedroom. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how and where they should be installed. Test them monthly, and change the batteries regularly.
  • Make an exit plan in case of a fire: Every family needs a fire escape plan, with at least two exit routes for every room. The plan also should include a meeting place outside and assigned roles for family members, including who will assist children or those with mobility issues.
  • Practice as if it’s real: Families should practice their fire escape plans at least twice a year.

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Experienced House Fire Negligence Lawyer Elliot Olsen | Siegel Brill Injury Law | Chemical Burn Negligence Attorney

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