Avoiding Fires During the Chilly Season

The attorneys at Azrael, Franz, Schwab and Lipowitz discuss safety with fire hazards.

It’s that time of year again. We’re snuggling up by the fire and trying to stay warm with space heaters while the temperature drops outside. We take the time to focus on staying warm while the winter season intensifies, but in the effort to keep warm many people forget simple precautions for avoiding fire hazards.

For more than 30 years, our firm has worked with the burn community, firefighters, the Johns Hopkins Regional Burn Center, doctors, nurses and therapists to minimize the effects of burns. The best outcome, however, is to avoid fire in the first place.

Below is a short list of safety tips to keep you and your loved ones safe during the cold winter months.

  1. Never leave candles unattended.
  2. Do not overload power strips, extension cords or electrical outlets when plugging in space heaters.
  3. Do not run extension cords underneath carpets.
  4. Have an escape plan prepared and make sure everyone in the family understands it.
  5. Check smoke detectors regularly.
  6. Be sure your fireplace is covered with a metal screen or glass doors to prevent the spread of fire or sparks.
  7. Keep a fire extinguisher in your home and know how to properly use it.  Check the gauge periodically to make sure it’s fully ready to go.
  8. If you still have Christmas lights up, turn them off when leaving your home or before going to bed.
  9. Use care with space heaters in general – keep at least three feet of clear space around them.

The American Burn Association states that roughly 450,000 patients receive hospital and emergency room treatment for burns each year. Additionally, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that fatal burn and fire injuries cost roughly $3 billion, which accounts for two percent of the total cost of fatal injuries.

By following these nine simple rules, you’ll remain safe from fires during the cold weather months. For more information of fire safety or burns, contact the personal injury attorneys at Azrael, Franz, Schwab and Lipowitz.