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The Eastern Echo Thursday, May 30, 2024 | Print Archive
The Eastern Echo

fire

Ypsilanti Fire Department shares how to prevent home fires this holiday season

On-duty supervisor Captain Schultz shares thoughts regarding data that shows an increase of home fires during the winter months.

Heating, holiday decorations, winter storms, and candles all contribute to an increased risk of fire during the winter months, according to the National Fire Protection Association.

The NFPA claims heating is the second leading cause of U.S. home fires and home fire injuries and the third leading cause of home fire deaths. December, January, and February are peak months for heating fires with the most common heating method of space heaters frequently results in about 44% of home heating equipment fires.

Other leading contributors to home fires include carbon monoxide, generators, and electrical. 

Reports from the State Fire Marshal’s Office and MI Prevention stated that 122 Michigan residents were killed in 101 residential fires and that fire departments throughout Michigan responded to 12,699 fires in 2020.

“It’s difficult to say whether home fire cases rise in the winter on a national scale,“ On-duty supervisor of the Ypsilanti Fire Department Captain Schultz said. "Still, regarding the Ypsilanti area, it doesn’t seem to matter what time of the year home fires ensue, with kitchen fires leading the way.”

The Ypsilanti Fire Department attempt to prevent these fires by using their availability and resources to hold inspections of rental units. As for what goes on in the community’s private homes, the YFD can only go so far as to prevent home fires, Schultz said.

In addition, the ongoing COVID pandemic has left the YFD low-staffed, and previous COVID restrictions made it challenging to interact with the virtual community.

Schultz urges the Ypsilanti community to install smoke and Co2 detectors in their homes, replacing them every 10 years.

“Install smoke detectors and Co2 detectors throughout their homes on each floor,“ Schultz said. "Detectors should be 10 years or less as they begin to show false reports."

Additional home fire preventions include decreasing candle use, keeping an eye on open flames, being attentive when cooking, closing doors in homes to inhibit fire travel, and locating a meeting place with family to account for everyone if there is a fire, Schultz said.

The YFD also recommends the community to research statistics through the NFPA website nfpa.org and the U.S. Fire Administration usfa.fema.gov.