Fires caused by home heating are the second leading cause of house fires, which is why more home fires occur in winter than any other time of year. The Kohl’s Cares Grow Safe & Healthy Program, a partnership of Kohl’s Cares and Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, offers some important reminders to keep families safe this winter.
Be mindful about portable space heaters
Place space heaters at least 3 feet away from anything that could catch fire, and never use a space heater to dry mittens or clothing. The heater should have an automatic shut-off, so that if it tips over, it will shut off. Never leave small children or pets alone with heaters and plug space heaters directly into outlets, rather than into an extension cord or power strip. Be sure to turn off all heaters, or fireplaces, before going to bed or leaving your home.
Build-up in the chimney, called creosote, can cause a fire, so have it inspected and cleaned by a professional before using it. Never burn flammable liquids, cardboard or trash in your fireplace. These items can cause intense flames, start a chimney fire, send sparks into the room or cause toxic smoke. A fireplace screen is a safe way to prevent sparks and embers from coming into the room.
Never use the stove or oven to heat your home. Candles, matches and lighters should be kept out of the reach of children. Smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors should be installed on each level of your home, including near sleeping areas. Inspect fire extinguishers regularly, and keep them in the kitchen, laundry room and garage.