Bright ideas for winter fire safety
In recent weeks, stories of fires breaking out in homes, businesses and barns have circulated around Minnesota. A barn fire in Wright County, Minn., possibly started by electricity, killed nine horses on Dec. 29. The day before that, a furnace ex...
In recent weeks, stories of fires breaking out in homes, businesses and barns have circulated around Minnesota.
A barn fire in Wright County, Minn., possibly started by electricity, killed nine horses on Dec. 29.
The day before that, a furnace exploded, leading to a large fire and major damage in a Hibbing, Minn. foundry.
A business and apartment building in Chisholm, Minn. was also badly damaged in a Jan. 8 blaze.
There have been many others: house fires causing extensive damage or destroying structures have also been battled in Bemidji, Breckenridge, Glyndon, Kent and Menahga since the new year began.
Incidents such as these may seem unavoidable, and some are just a case of bad luck, but
there are steps that can be taken to reduce the risk of fire.
Perham’s Fire Chief, Mark Schmidt, said many of the fires the department responds to are caused by leaving something hot unattended, particularly cooking food or candles.
“Often, people are in a rush and, unfortunately, forget something,” Schmidt said.
To prevent fires, especially during the winter, the State Fire Marshal’s Office recommends:
-Keeping portable heaters at least 3 feet from anything flammable.
-Never using a kitchen oven to heat a home.
-Cleaning chimneys and inspecting heating systems annually.
-Keeping all vents (furnace, dryer, fireplace, oven, etc.) clear of snow, ice and debris.
-Never using a blow torch to thaw frozen pipes.
-Testing smoke alarms monthly.
Forum News Service contributed to this report.