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Home Safety 101 - Fire Safety during Winter Storms


Most of the U.S. is at risk for winter storms, which can cause dangerous and sometimes life-threatening conditions. Blinding wind-driven snow, extreme cold, icy road conditions, downed trees and power lines can all wreak havoc on our daily schedules. Home fires occur more in the winter than in any other season, and heating equipment is involved in one of every six reported home fires, and one in every five home fire deaths. Know what to do before, during and after a storm. This will help keep you and your family safe from a winter fire.

Safety Tips

  • Test all smoke alarms. Do this at least once a month.

  • This way you will know they are working. Install carbon monoxide alarms in your home. Test the alarms.

  • Plan two ways out of the home in case of an emergency.

  • Clear driveway and front walk of ice and snow. This will provide easy access to your home.

  • Make sure your house number can be seen from the street. If you need help, firefighters will be able to find you.

  • Be ready in case the power goes out. Have flashlights on hand. Also have battery-powered lighting and fresh batteries. Never use candles.

  • Stay aware of winter weather. Listen to the television or radio for updates. Watch for bulletins online.

  • Check on neighbors. Check on others who may need help.

  • Generators should be used outdoors. Keep them away from windows and doors. Do not run a generator inside your garage, even if the door is open.

  • Stay away from downed wires. Report any downed wires to authorities. 

  • Be ready if the heat stops working. Use extra layers of clothes and blankets to stay warm. If you use an emergency heat source, keep anything that can burn at least 3 feet away.

  • Turn portable heaters off when you leave the room.

  • Turn them off when you go to bed.


The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has a great flyer for you to download on Fire Safety during Winter Storms that covers all this information on it.

I hope that this information will help keep your family and home safe. I thank the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) for their commitment to educating everyone on Winter storm dangers.  If you know someone that could benefit from this information please forward it on. Check out my Val Cares Page on my website for more Safety Tips.

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