It’s early into the fall season, and temperatures are finally comfortable again. However, it won’t be long until the big chill is here and we need to turn on heaters, furnaces, and those cozy fireplaces. The U.S. Fire Administration under FEMA encourages homeowners and tenants in residential buildings to take appropriate steps to ensure a safe heating season.
The U.S. Fire Administration has just published the Heating Fires in Residential Buildings (2008-2010). The report provides statistics on fires in residential buildings and safety tips to take before and during the heating season.
The following statistics are provided by the report:
• About 50,100 fires are caused by heating equipment in U.S. residential buildings every year, and these fires result in about 150 deaths, nearly 600 injuries, and roughly $326 million in property damage
• 30 percent of all residential heating fires occur between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m.
• heating is the second leading cause of residential fires behind cooking
• confined fires (chimneys, flues, and fuel burners) resulted in 87 percent of all residential heating fires
• about 30 percent of all unconfined fires occurred because the heating source was near a combustible
The U.S. Fire Administration states the following safety tips can dramatically decrease the chances of a residential heating fire:
• only use heating equipment like chimneys after they are cleaned and inspected by a professional
• keep any combustible at least 3 feet away from heating equipment
• only use heating equipment that is labeled from a testing laboratory
• never plug space heaters into an extension cord, only plug the heater into an outlet
• install carbon monoxide alarms in your home and make to maintain the alarms
For more safety tips and a link to the full report, use the following link: https://www.usfa.fema.gov/media/press/2012releases/092012.shtm
Source: U.S. Fire Administration