With weather turning colder, keep fire safety in mind

ByNydia Han and Heather Grubola WPVI logo
Tuesday, November 15, 2022

The experts at Consumer Reports have some life-saving tips that can help keep your home and family fire-safe.

Smoke detectors are proven to save lives and reduce injuries from smoke and fire.

Consumer Reports' Paul Hope says fire safety begins with an audit at home, starting in the kitchen.

"Cooking remains the leading cause of home fires and injuries. And it can be as easy as walking away from the stove and forgetting," he said.

To prevent a kitchen blaze, remember this simple rule: stand by your pan. If your cookware does catch fire, move it off the stove if you can and cover it with a lid.

For oven fires, keep the oven door closed, turn it off and be sure to have a fire extinguisher nearby in case the fire gets out of hand. And part of your fire-safety plan should include an extinguisher on every level of your home.

Winter weather outside can present fire hazards inside. Think about candles, fireplaces with uncleaned chimneys, and space heaters.

"The vast majority of home heating deaths last year were the result of portable or stationary space heaters. We recommend looking for a model that turns off automatically if it gets too hot and which has a tip-over switch."

And finally, don't forget about potential fires outside of your home. Backyard campfires and fire pits pose risks, especially in drier weather. Before building a fire, check to make sure there are no local burn bans. And always have an extinguisher and a garden hose at the ready.

Space Heater Safety

Even the safest space heaters can pose a fire risk if you don't use them properly.

Here are some more tips; always place the heater on a hard level, surface; at least three feet away from combustible materials like bedding, curtains, and upholstered furniture.

And always keep them away from pets and children.

If you're warming a garage or workshop, CR says never use a space heater near paint cans, gas cans or other flammable materials.