The DeKalb Fire Department would like to provide you some valuable information regarding winter fire safety.
Carbon Monoxide: Often called the invisible killer, carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless gas created when fuels such as gasoline, wood, coal, propane, etc. do not burn completely. In the home, heating and cooking equipment that burn fuel are potential sources of CO. CO incidents are more common during the winter months and in residential properties. Please be sure your CO detectors are up to date and tested to ensure accuracy and usage.
Winter Storms: Most of the U.S. is at risk for 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 occur more in the winter than in any other season, and heating equipment is involved in one of six home fires and one in five home fire deaths. Please be sure all vents outside your home are free and clear of any snow/debris to prevent carbon monoxide backup into your home.
Generators: Portable generators are useful during power outages, however, many homeowners are unaware that the improper use of portable generators can be risky. The most common dangers associated with portable generators are carbon monoxide (CO) positioning, electrical shock or electrocution, and fire hazards. According to a 2013 Consumer Product Safety Commission report, half of the generator-related deaths happened in the four coldest months of the year, November through February, and portable generators were involved in the majority of carbon dioxide deaths involving engine-driven tools.
Candles: December is the peak of year for home candle fires; the top two days for home candle fires are Christmas and Christmas Eve. Between 2013 – 2017, an average of 7,900 home candle fires were reported each year. Only use candles when in the room with them and keep the out of the reach of children.
Electrical: Electrical fires are a leading case of home fires in the U.S. Roughly half of all home electrical fires involved other known types of equipment like washer or dryer fans and portable or stationary space heaters. Do not use extension cords for space heaters and keep the area around those heaters free of anything that could impede its usage and cause fires (i.e. newspaper, magazines, blankets, etc.).
Fire Hydrants: Keep the area around your fire hydrants free and clear of snow so that we can find them easier in the event of a fire and that it doesn’t freeze up the caps, making them inoperable.