10 ways to prevent common causes of winter fires

10 easy ways to prevent common causes of winter fires
Posted on 11/03/2021

As the weather cools, you may be turning to your fireplace, a space heater or other ways to keep cozy and warm — and these bring fire risks. Check off these 10 tips from the National Fire Prevention Association to ensure you’re protected. Questions? Contact Lenexa Fire Department Captain Dave Little at 913.477.7912 or dlittle@lenexa.com.

  • Our furnace has been inspected and serviced by a qualified professional during the last 12 months. A furnace should be serviced at least once a year.

  • Our chimneys and vents have been cleaned and inspected by a qualified professional. I have checked for creosote buildup. Not cleaning your chimney is the leading cause of chimney fires from built-up creosote. This service needs to be done at least once a year.

  • Our wood for our fireplace is dried — seasoned — wood.

  • Our fireplace screen is metal or heat-tempered glass, in good condition and secure in front of the fireplace.

  • We have a covered metal container outside ready to use to dispose of cooled ashes. The container should be kept at least 10 feet from the home and nearby buildings.

  • Our children know to stay at least 3 feet from a fireplace, wood/pellet stove or other space heaters.

  • Our portable space heaters have an automatic shut-off.

  • Our portable space heaters are plugged directly into an outlet (not an extension cord) and placed at least 3 feet from anything that can burn like bedding, paper and walls.

  • We have tested our smoke alarms and made sure they are working. You need smoke alarms on each level of your home, inside each sleeping room and outside each sleeping area. For the best protection, smoke alarms should be interconnected so when one sounds, they all sound.

  • We have tested our carbon monoxide alarms and made sure they are working. These alarms should be located outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home.

Published Nov. 3, 2021