National Fire Protection Association: Put the Freeze on Winter Fires

Here is an article and video from the National Fire Protection Association with some tips on preventing winter fires. A lot of the information focuses on hazards in the home; fireplaces, space heaters, candles, decorations….however many of these tips apply to the farm too. If you’re using space heaters in the barn or shop, make sure they’re at least 3 feet away from anything flammable. Don’t leave anything with an open flame or exposed heating coils unsupervised and make sure all of your equipment is functioning properly at the beginning of the season.

Carbon monoxide is another hazard associated with open flame. I know someone who narrowly escaped carbon monoxide poisoning from running a propane space heater in his garage.  Fireplaces can also create a carbon monoxide hazard if they’re not properly maintained.  If you’re regularly using a heat source that burns fuel (wood, propane, gas, etc) it might be worthwhile to get an extra carbon monoxide detector.   Sometimes fire departments, park districts, homeowners associations, and other groups offer free detectors so you might be able to pick up one for free if you check around.

Also be careful of holiday decorations indoors and out.  The number of fires in the US peaks on December 25th, December 31st and January 1st, and holiday decorations are often to blame!

Click here to see the full article