As Temperatures Drop, Remember These Home Fire Prevention & Safety Tips

stay warm and safe this winter

Temperatures are expected to drop this week with freezing rain and the chance of a wintry mix on Thursday night. As temperatures drop, the State Fire Marshal’s Office reminds Tennesseans of some basic fire safety tips.

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During winter, fire deaths increase by almost 75 percent across the Volunteer State, according to state fire data. Heating equipment is the leading cause of home fire deaths nationally and among the leading known causes for home fire deaths in Tennessee.

The Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance (TDCI) and the Tennessee State Fire Marshal’s Office (SFMO) remind Tennesseans to focus on fire safety in order to help reduce home fires and save lives this winter.

A homeowner’s first line of defense against home fires in any season is a working smoke alarm.

“Tennessee homeowners can stay warm and safe this winter by remembering to take a few simple steps,” said TDCI Assistant Commissioner Gary Farley. “By making sure to always turn off space heaters when leaving a room and using working smoke alarms all year long, Tennesseans can reduce risk to themselves and emergency responders.”

Tennesseans can reduce their risk of home fires this winter by following these consumer tips:

  • Keep flammable items like blankets, rugs, or furniture at least three feet away from space heaters and wood stoves.
  • Practice a home fire escape plan with your family. Everyone should know two ways out of each room.
  • Always turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.
  • Never use your oven to heat your home.
  • Have heating equipment and chimneys inspected every year.
  • Burn only dry, seasoned wood in fireplaces and wood stoves. Never burn garbage or use flammable liquids to start a fire.
  • Make sure any fireplace has a sturdy screen to reduce the risk of flying sparks.
  • Install wood-burning stoves following manufacturer’s instructions or have a professional perform the installation. All fuel-burning equipment should be vented to the outside to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • If you smell gas coming from your gas heater, do not light the appliance. Leave the home immediately and call your local fire department or gas company.

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