Winter fire safety: Helpful tips on smoke detectors, alarms, carbon monoxide

News 12 New Jersey’s Lauren Due visited a firehouse in Edison to find out more information on fire prevention.

News 12 Staff

Jan 26, 2023, 11:00 AM

Updated 535 days ago

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Home fires occur more in the winter than any other season, with the leading cause of house fires being in the kitchen.
News 12 New Jersey’s Lauren Due visited a firehouse in Edison to find out more about fire prevention.
Edison Chief Andrew Toth gave helpful tips on staying safe during colder months, starting with smoke detectors and alarms.
“In most homes, you should have a smoke detector within 10 feet of every living bedroom or living quarters and every floor of the house,” Toth said.
Toth said it’s also good for families to have a fire escape plan when a smoke detector goes off.
“Most fatal fires happen in houses that don’t have operable smoke detectors,” Toth said. “So simply having that battery changed in your smoke detector can save your life.”

Fire safety and prevention tips:

• Plug high power appliances such as refrigerators or space heaters right into the wall. Never plug to a power strip or extension cord.
• Remember to change the batteries in your smoke detectors every six months.
• Never leave open flames unattended.
• If you have a lithium-ion battery in a power tool, snow blower, electric bike, scooter and/or hoverboard, make sure you monitor those while they are charging. Do not leave them charging when you leave the house or when you go to bed. If you smell anything weird in your house, it could be the lithium battery overcharging - which could overheat and combust.
• With laundry, make sure the dryers are cleaned out. Dryer vents should be cleaned at least once a year by a professional.
• Don't use your fireplace unless it's been inspected.
• Have a plan for what to do when detectors start going off and a meeting point outside.
• It's important to have a carbon monoxide detector on every level of your house outside of the sleeping areas.
• Carbon monoxide is a silent killer. Position any generators at least 20 feet from any openings, doors and windows.


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