Champaign Fire Department Reminds Residents To Be Warm and Safe This Winter



As the temperature outside drops, families take to the indoors to keep safe and warm. What they may not realize is that turning up the heat can increase the risk of home heating fires.

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), half of all home-heating fires occur during the winter months. On average, NFPA research shows that heating equipment is involved in more than 62,550 reported U.S. home structure fires per year, with associated loss of more than 516 civilian deaths, more than 1,595 civilian injuries and roughly $924 million in direct property damage per year.

By following these few simple safety tips you can keep yourself and family safer while keeping the home warm and cozy:

  • Keep anything that can burn at least three-feet from heating equipment, like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove, or portable heater.
  • Have a three-foot “kid-free zone” around open fires and space heaters.
  • Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional.
  • Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.
  • Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen or approved doors to stop sparks from flying into the room.  Ashes should be cool before putting them in a metal container.  Keep the container a safe distance from the home.
  • Never use your oven to heat your home.
  • Test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors monthly.

According to Champaign Fire Chief Gary Ludwig, “Half of home heating fires occur during the months of December, January, and February.  Remember to give space heaters space, and always maintain a working smoke and carbon monoxide alarm.”

Contact:  Randy Smith | 217-403-7212