Winter Holiday Fire Safety
Winter Fire Safety Tips

Winter Holiday Fire Safety: Put a Freeze on Winter Fires

Fernandina Beach Fire-Rescue Department Wants to Keep You Safe and Warm This Winter

By: Jason Higginbotham, Fire Marshal

Fernandina Beach, FL – As the temperature outside drops, Fernandina Beach 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 almost 70,000 reported U.S. home structure fires per year, with associated loss of roughly 600 civilian deaths, more than 1,600 civilian injuries and almost $900 million in direct property damage.

While these numbers are frightening, nearly all of these fires are preventable. We can reduce the number of home heating fires in our community by taking some simple precautions and using heating equipment properly.

Fernandina Beach Fire-Rescue Department recommends some simple home heating safety tips, so residents can help keep our community safe and warm this winter.

    • Install smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home. Interconnect all smoke alarms throughout the home so that when one sounds, they all sound. Test smoke alarms at least once a month.
    • Be sure your home has both ionization and photoelectric smoke alarms or combination alarms that include both technologies.
    • Practice your home fire escape plan.
    • Have your chimney inspected each year and cleaned if necessary.
    • Use a sturdy fireplace screen.
    • Allow ashes to cool before disposing. Dispose of ashes in a metal container.
    • Space heaters need space. Keep all things that can burn, such as paper, bedding or furniture, at least 3 feet away from heating equipment.
    • Turn portable heaters off when you go to bed or leave the room.
    • Plug power cords only into outlets with sufficient capacity and never into an extension cord.
    • Inspect for cracked or broken plugs or loose connections. Replace before using.
    • Install and maintain a carbon monoxide alarm in a central location outside each sleeping area.
    • Never use an oven to heat your home.

The Fernandina Beach Fire-Rescue Department wants everyone to be warm and safe this Holiday Season and help us Put a Freeze on Winter Fires. For more information on home-heating fire safety tips please visit the City of Fernandina Beach Fire-Rescue Department’s website at