Put a freeze on winter fires logo

Put a Freeze on Winter Fires this Holiday Season and Beyond

As temperatures drop and thermostats are turned up, Fire and Life Safety (FLS) education efforts must include key winter fire and carbon monoxide (CO) prevention messaging and resources. In conjunction with the US Fire Administration, NFPA is once again promoting the Put a Freeze on Winter Fires Campaign featuring new infographics and social media cards to promote easy and critical ways people can prevent fires and CO poisoning.

During the winter months the use of heating equipment, decorations, candles, and generators increase, bringing with an increased risk of fire and CO poisoning. Generators are the leading type of equipment involved in unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning with heating ranking second.  One in every seven home fires involves heating equipment, accounting for 19% of all home fire deaths. Community members need annual reminders of the dangers as well as practical ways to protect their family and home. Key tips for your communities include:

  • Have a qualified professional clean and inspect your chimney, vents, and heating equipment every year.
  • Make sure to have working smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside the sleeping area, and on each level, including the basement.
  • Carbon Monoxide (CO) alarms should be installed in a central location outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home.
  • Keep anything that can burn at least 3 feet (1 meter) from any heat source like fireplaces, wood stoves, radiators or space heaters.
  • Plug heat producing appliances directly into an outlet; never use an extension cord.
  • Keep portable generators outside away from window, and as far away from your home as possible.
  • Make sure everyone in your home (including guests) are part of your Home Fire Escape Plan including knowing 2 ways out and the outside meeting place.

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Andrea Vastis
Senior Director, Public Education, public health promotion & education professional passionate about eliminating disparities in access, education and resources.

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