MUSCATINE, Iowa – Many people turn to additional heating equipment as the weather turns colder, and the potential for property and/or personal loss due to fire also increases unless adequate precautions are taken.
No one ever wants a fire but fires do happen, and the weather compounds the loss during this time of year.
A January 2021 report by the National Fire Prevention Association states that space heaters were most often responsible for home heating equipment fires, accounting for more than two in five fires as well as the vast majority of deaths (31 percent) and injuries (80 percent) in home fires caused by heating equipment.
Fireplaces or chimneys were involved in approximately three in 10 fires caused by heating equipment, but these were mostly confined fires that did not extend beyond the chimney. Other leading types of heating equipment involved in home heating equipment fires included central heating systems and water heats (one in 10 heating equipment fires).
Victims of fires have to deal with being displaced by the fire, deal with the cold during the fire, and deal with everything freezing up after the fire.
“The water we use turns to ice very quickly and can build up making it hard to recover items that were in the fire,” Mike Hartman, Assistant Fire Chief and Muscatine Fire Marshal, said. “The loss of utilities for the larger fires means that anything left in the home will freeze up including pipes, plumbing, appliances, and personal items.”
Loss can be averted or limited by following a few safety tips during these cold winter months.
When using a space heater:
Other safety tips: