Top three household fire hazards: Fire Prevention Week 2020

Top three household fire hazards

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - It’s National Fire Prevention Week! This year’s theme is “Serve Up Fire Safety in the Kitchen!” but Huntsville Fire & Rescue has safety tips for other areas of the house too.

According to Huntsville Fire Marshal Daniel Wilkerson, there are three other major fire hazards particularly common during the fall and winter months: Space heaters, candles, and chimneys.

First, Wilkerson says you must follow the manufacturer guidelines when using portable space heaters.

For example, you should never place one near household combustibles such as cleaners or curtains.

He also says you should never leave a space heater on while you are sleeping, especially with kids or pets nearby.

The second major hazard: candles.

“During the holidays we do have a lot of people using candles,” Wilkerson said. “Make sure candles are on a firm surface and make sure that you don’t use them under anything that is hanging like draperies or decorations.”

The third major hazard: chimneys. Wilkerson says these should be cleaned regularly to prevent dangerous build-up.

“We have a lot of chimneys in Huntsville and they are not always properly maintained,” Wilkerson said. "Your chimney should be cleaned regularly. When you are using wood fuel you get a build-up in the chimney and then if you have a good hot fire one day, that build-up catches on fire. It’s almost like a roman candle. And it damages your chimney, too. So it can be very costly and it causes a mess in the home when we have to come in and put that fire out.”

Finally, Wilkerson encourages people to have at least one fire extinguisher in their home. It should be kept in an easily accessible area.

Copyright 2020 WAFF. All rights reserved.