This week is Winter Weather Preparedness Week in North Carolina and today we're not talking about winter weather directly but how winter temperatures can affect the safety of your home.
The following information is provided courtesy of the National Weather Service, The American Red Cross and the National Fire Protection Association. Its no secret that Americans see a higher number of house fires once the mercury takes a tumble. As a matter of fact, statistics show that a house fire is reported to a fire department in the US every one and a half minutes. Someone dies in a house fire every two and a half hours.
Structure fires claimed nearly 3000 lives in 2007 across the United States and 84 percent of those fires occurred in the home.
There are a number of other statistics provided, and I'll provide the link here to the National Weather Service report: http://www.erh.noaa.gov/rah/news/content/Winter_08_THURSDAY.pdf
What you need to walk away with today are some common sense reminders of measures you can take to minimize the chance and impact of fire.
Again, from the National Weather Service report:
1) Be careful when using candles and oil lamps, especially with children nearby.
2) Inspect foreplaces, wood stoves and your chimney.
3) Keep the holiday decorations away from your fireplace if you plan to use it as a heat source.
4) Check the smoke detector and have a working fire extinguisher (Do you know how to use yours in a pinch?).
5) Don't overload your outlets and be careful when using extension cords.
Here's a list of this week's information on winter preparedness (through today..I'll post Friday's link tomorrow) from the National Weather Service:
Still to cover this week: how to prepare when winter weather comes this way and the factor of winter weather that makes everyone an equal on the road: freezing rain and sleet.