Freezing Out Winter Fires

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Heating, electricity and winter storms all contribute to an increased risk of fire during the winter months

The Sycamore Fire Department would like to remind residents about the importance of home safety, especially during winter months.

Heating
Heating is the leading cause of U.S. home fires, deaths and injuries. Space heaters are the type of equipment most often involved in home heating equipment fires, averaging in two out of five fires (40%). Other contributors of heating fires include chimney fires due to insufficient cleaning.

Carbon Monoxide
Often called the invisible killer, carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless gas created when fuels such as gasoline, wood, coal, propane, natural gas, etc. do not burn completely. In the home, primary sources of CO are gas appliances, such as a stove/oven, water heater and furnace. Carbon monoxide incidents are more common during the winter months, and in residential properties. The Illinois Carbon Monoxide Detector Act requires Sycamore residents, at a minimum, to install one carbon monoxide detector within 15 feet of every room used for sleeping purposes.

Winter Storms
Living in the Midwest, Sycamore residents are more susceptible to winter storms, which can cause dangerous and sometimes life-threatening conditions. Blinding wind-driven snow, extreme cold, icy road conditions, downed trees and power lines can all wreak havoc on our daily schedules. Home fires can occur more in the winter than in any other season, and heating equipment is involved in one of every six home fires.

Electrical Fires
Electrical home fires are a leading cause of home fires in the U.S. Roughly one half of all home electrical fires involved electrical distribution or lighting equipment, while nearly another half involved other know types of equipment like dryer fans and portable or stationary space heaters. Electrical fires can include misuse of extension cords and running space heaters off under-powered circuits.

For more information on winter fire safety, please contact the Sycamore Fire Department at (815) 895-4514, or visit them on Facebook at City of Sycamore Fire Department for occasional postings.

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