Due to the fact that we have experienced several recent fires from smoking, space heaters, and improperly discarded fireplace ashes, we would like to supply a brief set of guidelines for winter fire safety. These guidelines fit the most common fire causes that we see for the City of Yakima.

It is common that people go about their busy days and are further impacted by demands from the Holidays. When the weather turns colder, staying fire safe requires a different approach. Take a few minutes now to address Fire Safety. It can mean the difference between a wonderful holiday experience and a home that is charred with nothing left on the inside.

Three Steps to a Safer Home:

#1 General Winter Fire Safety:

Hunt for home hazards to prevent fires from happening in the first place.

Give Space Heaters at least three feet of distance from any combustible. Never use space heaters with an extension cord.

Provide smokers with large, deep, non-tip ashtrays and keep an eye on anyone who is drinking and smoking.

Remove fireplace/woodstove ashes into a metal container with a tight fitting lid.

Place this container on a non-combustible surface, away from any item that can ignite.

Matches and lighters must not be left within the reach of children. Children are very observant when it comes to the routine places these are kept.

Make sure a grown-up is always in the room when a candle is burning. Make sure to use candle-holders that are sturdy and won’t tip over easily. Don’t let kids light candles.

Never leave a hot stove unattended. Never cook on high when using oils.

#2 Smoke Detectors:

People living in homes with working smoke detectors are twice as likely to survive a fire.

Install smoke detectors on every level of your home and outside all sleeping areas.

Test your alarms at least once a month and replace the batteries every year.

For $10 to $15, you cannot make a better purchase for you or your family’s lives.

#3 Home Escape Plans:

Develop and practice a home escape plan with your entire family.

Everyone in the household must know at least two ways out in the event of a fire.

Choose a safe meeting place outside and call the fire department from a neighbor’s home.