According to the National Fire Reporting System, 67 percent of winter fires occur in one-and two-family homes and that nearly 1,000 people die each winter in home fires.
The days are shorter, the nights are longer. Temperatures are dropping and the north winds are blowing. This means crackling fires in fireplaces, space heaters turned to the highest setting, entangled extension cords dragged out from the garage, more meals to be cooked and simmered, layers of wet clothes needing to be dried and extra cleaning products to make homes spic and span for family and guests. These additional cold weather activities can bring additional safety concerns. Most fires occur between the hours of 5 to 8 p.m. and are started because of faulty electrical equipment.
So, amid all the hoopla of the upcoming holidays, we would like to encourage you to take a few minutes out of your busy schedule to put "safety" at the top of your holiday agenda.
Download How to Master Holiday Fire Safety Without Breaking a Sweat Checklist to ensure fire safety during the holiday season.
What is the most important safety tip of all?
Unfortunately, no matter how many precautions you take, fires do occur. It is imperative to formulate and practice an in-depth family escape plan. Outline all escape routes from every bedroom. If bedrooms are upstairs, roll-up ladders should be placed when they can be easily accessed. Be sure everyone in the home knows what to do and where to go. Remember to GET OUT, STAY OUT and CALL 911 or your local emergency phone number.
As treasured as they may be, things can be replaced, but saving the precious lives of yourself and your loved ones during a fire should be priority number one!