Minnesota Winter Hazard Awareness Week: Winter Fire Safety
One of the bigger topics of discussion during the Minnesota Department of Public Safety’s (MN DPS) Winter Hazard Awareness Week is winter fire safety. The Golden Valley Fire Department wants to ensure residents take the necessary steps to avoid any winter- and holiday-related fires.
In 2017, 10 percent of structure fires in Minnesota were heating fires, according to the MN DPS. These structure fires were primarily caused by fireplaces, fixed heating units, central heating units, and portable heaters. Although these heating measures are commonly used, they could pose a threat to you and your home if misused or left unattended.
In 2017, more than 45 percent of structure fires in Minnesota were due to cooking. Cooking fires also caused more than $4.4 million in damage in Minnesota, according to the MN DPS. The best way to avoid cooking fires is to never leave cooking food unattended.
Although decorating for the holiday season may brighten up cold days and long nights, when decorations are used incorrectly, they could become a fire hazard. Every year in the United States, there are an estimated 250 home fires involving Christmas trees and another 170 involving holiday lights, according to the MN DPS. To lower the risk of holiday fires, always use non-flammable decorations, keep Christmas trees away from heating vents, and try decorating with flameless candles, as most offer the same flicker effect and come in scented varieties.
For more winter fire safety information, visit the Winter Hazard Awareness Week web page.