Fire Risks Increase in Winter Months

By: Jordan Shefte Email
By: Jordan Shefte Email

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The holidays might be over, but your worries may not be.
The reason is that the number of house fires increases during the winter months.
Holiday decorations can overload electrical systems, heaters and fireplaces can cause problems, and there's more cooking being done in the kitchen.
A problem with any of these elements could make your holiday season, not so cheery.

Ah the holidays, the most wonderful time of the year.
But if you're not careful, they could quickly take a turn for the worse.

"There are 150 fires related to holiday lighting, as well as decorative lighting every year," said Home Depot Operations Assistant Manager Brian Hott.

The colder weather we experience during the winter months brings in additional fire dangers, like fireplaces and space heaters.

"You want to set a space heater away from a wall or away from anything that's combustible like furniture, and you want to maintain a 3 foot diameter of clearance around them," said Wichita Fire Marshal Brad Crisp.

Also, holiday decorations, while festive, can lead to fires.
Dry trees can be a risk, and additional christmas lights can overload electrical systems.

"The components of your home that deliver electricity to your outlets, they can get taxed this time of year, especially in older homes," Crisp said.

Also, pay attention to box directions when putting up christmas lights.
Led lights offer the ability to string together more lights without a fire hazard.

"These traditional lights will actually allow you to connect up to six sets at 150 lights per set," Hott said. "The newer LED lights, there are 200 bulbs in each one of these sets, and this will actually allow you to connect up to 16 strands."

Also, you want to make sure that you are properly using power strips and extension cords.

"When you plug a multi plug adaptor into another multiplug adaptor into another multiplug adaptor and then add an extension cord to it, they're not designed to be used that way," Crisp said. "Extension cords are designed to be used temporarily."

Following this advice can help keep your holiday season, safe.

"We want to enjoy the holidays and have a great time but obviously we want to be safe and take care of our families as well," Hott said.

Another reminder from the fire department is to check your fire alarm batteries.
Although they won't prevent a fire, they will help keep your family safe.
The fire department will install smoke alarms for free, just call 316-268-4441.


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