FRESNO, California (KSEE) – The cold winter months can pose a hazard in our homes and our attempt to stay warm could create a fire risk.
Firefighters ask that homeowners always make sure to have working smoke detectors. They say those small devices have the potential to save your life.
December, January, and February are typically the coldest months in the Valley.
A home was damaged on Monday, and investigators are still trying to figure out the cause.
While many of us stay home to keep warm and cozy up with the heater on, firefighters say others may use space heaters and fireplaces, and sometimes those can be dangerous.
“You would have more issues associated maybe with causes of fire, meaning you might see an uptick of fires starting from like I said space heaters or using other means to heat the house,” says Deputy Fire Marshal Jay Tracy with the Fresno Fire Department.
Merced County Fire Department took to social media to remind people to plug only one heat-producing appliance into an electrical outlet at a time.
They also say to keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from any heat source.
Sanger firefighters also taking to social media and posted an image of a home engulfed in flames. “Research shows that 30 years ago, you had 17 minutes to escape a house fire. Today, it’s down to three or four minutes.”
“Most of the materials being used today are hydrocarbon-based, so they’re synthetic materials, the polyesters, the plastics and stuff like that, those burn at a very different, very fast and very hot rate, so we’re seeing conditions in the room change significantly, very quickly,” Tracy explained.
Fire officials say candles are also a big hazard during the winter months. They say people often light them and forget about them. Firefighters say to make sure you’re always aware and put out before leaving the room.
Firefighters say when lighting a fire, make sure the flue is open and always clean and free of soot.
It’s a good idea to set up a routine maintenance plan to have your chimney maintained, fire officials say.
They say nowadays smoke is a lot more toxic. Fire officials say to always make sure you check with the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District for when it’s okay to burn.