"Put a Freeze on Winter Fires"

National Fire Prevention Association and U.S. Fire Administration Promote Winter Campaign

The months of December, January and February account for half of all home heating equipment fires. Increased heating needs during these months makes sense: as the temperatures dip, people bring out space heaters and wood stoves - and crank up the furnace to keep homes warm. But the danger of home fires does not make sense, especially as many home heating fires can be prevented.

As part of the winter campaign, Put a Freeze on Winter Fires, the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA) offers the following tips to prevent winter home heating fires:

  • Follow instructions and codes when installing furnaces, wood stoves and the like
  • Externally vent fuel-burning equipment and make sure the vents remain unobstructed
  • Keep at least 3 feet clear around all home heating equipment
  • Along with fire alarms, make sure your home has carbon monoxide alarms near all home heating equipment
  • Have a home heating expert annually inspect and clean home heating equipment
  • Turn off devices when they will be unattended

Space Heater Malfunctions And Other Failures Cause One in Eight Home Heating Fires

Although following the NFPA's tips will help prevent most home heating fires, one in eight heating equipment fires is caused by a mechanical malfunction (not human error). Some component of a space heater may be defective. A wood stove's design may be dangerous. The HVAC installer may have cut corners on the installation of a furnace. In all these cases, you may have a claim if you were burned or your home was damaged because of a home fire. Contact an experienced personal injury lawyer for help.