Number of Fires Rise as Temperatures Drop

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With the recent dry cold snap hitting the country, fire risk is especially high and fires are being reported nationwide. Cozy Products share tips for reducing fire risk.

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Home fires can happen at any time, but they generally increase during the fall and winter, with December and January being the peak months.

The cold is being felt all over the country, and people are responding by turning up the heat – increasing the risk of house fires. According to the Red Cross, house fires are most likely to occur in the fall and winter months. Cozy Products, manufacturers of low-watt products, advise.

The Red Cross reports that “Home fires can happen at any time, but they generally increase during the fall and winter, with December and January being the peak months. Home fires are also more common on Saturday and Sunday, and tend to peak between 6:00 and 7:00 PM.”

The report additionally notes that the National Fire Protection Association is reporting an increase in the number of home fires today, by about 10 percent since the year 2000. Cozy Products considers this alarming considering the fact fire prevention knowledge is more widely available now than ever before.

Most home fires begin in the kitchen (source: American Red Cross), so remember to never leave food unattended while it cooks. Check food regularly and use a kitchen timer to prevent forgetting about what’s on the stove. Don’t wear long sleeves or other clothing that could catch on fire, and keep kids away from the cooking area while it’s in use. Keep anything that can catch fire, such as paper towels, pot holders, wooden utensils, food packaging, etc. away from the heat source while it’s in use, and keep all cooking items clean to prevent grease buildup. Getting into the habit of checking appliances before bed and when leaving the home is a good idea, as is keeping a fire extinguisher near the kitchen. A smoke alarm near the kitchen is a must, as is installing at least one on every level of the home. Smoke alarms should be tested monthly and batteries replaced annually.

The second most common cause of home fires are space heaters and other heating equipment (source: National Fire Protection Association). Between 2007 – 2011 there were 60,407 fires that were reportedly caused by heating equipment (vs 156,590 by cooking equipment), including fire places. Space heaters accounted for about 20,000 of those fires, resulting in 397 deaths, 1,136 injuries, and about $466,000,000 in damages.

When using space heaters, it’s extremely important to remember space heater safety when using typical space heaters (source: Cozy Products); never place a standard space heater on an uneven surface or turn it on if it’s possible it’s been damaged. Don’t leave space heaters on while sleeping or when you’ve left the room or home. Never place an operating high-watt space heater near rug fringe, curtains, or other dry materials that can ignite from the heat. Don’t touch space heaters with wet hands, including hand lotion, and never use fuel-type space heaters (gas or kerosene) inside an airtight home, mobile home or trailer.

Stay aware of the space heater’s wattage to prevent tripped circuits and never use extension cords if you’re not sure they can handle the high wattage most space heaters require, as this is another common cause of fire. Remember that the higher the wattage a heater needs, the more risks are involved and the higher the electric bill will be if caution is not exercised.

Cozy Products manufactures energy-efficient, low-watt personal heaters that conserve energy, prevent circuit overloads, put heat where you need it most, and reduce the risk of fire. Popular with offices and customers worldwide, Cozy Products has built its 50 year reputation on safer, economical, green, effective products that are designed to prevent the complications inherent to most space heaters.

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Kelly Nelson
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since: 10/2012
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