Winter Safety Tips from State Fire Marshal

With the recent and projected winter weather, Washingtonians have their hands full dealing with Mother Nature.  The Washington State Fire Marshal’s Office encourages residents to take a few extra precautions while trying to stay warm and safe.

  • If you use a space heater for additional heat, ensure you keep a minimum of three feet of clearance away from anything that can burn.  Plug space heaters directly into an outlet, and never into a power strip or extension cord.  Never leave a space heater unattended, and turn them off before leaving the house.  It is recommended that you use a space heater that has tip over protection.
  • If you use an extension cord, ensure the cords are free of defects such as loose connections, damaged plugs or cracked insulation.  Extension cords must be rated and listed for the capacity of the device being powered.  Keep paths clear of these tripping hazards.
  • Fireplaces and wood stoves can be both beautiful and provide needed warmth.  Ensure a three foot clearance is maintained around the front and sides of a wood stove or fireplace.  This combustible free zone applies to the little ones as well.
  • Keep your eyes on the ice.  The melting and refreezing cycle can cause a significant walking hazard.  Keep walkways clear of snow to help prevent ice from forming later.  Spread a de-icer onto critical walkways to keep these pathways safe.
  • Ensure that you have working smoke detectors in every sleeping area and on every level, as well as accessible fire extinguishers.
  • You can help your local fire department by clearing snow away from fire hydrants at least three feet.

For more fire prevention tips visit our website at www.wsp.wa.gov/state-fire-marshals-office/