Avoiding House Fires in Cold Weather

February 21, 2013

By Mitchell J. Shore

This morning’s news reminds us yet again of the dangers created by cold weather. A young child in South Philadelphia was injured after his house caught fire and is now in recovery at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. The cause of the fire is currently unknown.

House fires are unfortunately not uncommon at this time of year. Older homes often present challenges for residents to keep warm, and the cost of heating a home can be very expensive.

Though space heaters and kerosene heaters are frequently used, it is important for residents to make sure they have the proper number of smoke detectors installed and working. Taking just a few minutes to check or change batteries can save countless lives. Also be sure to keep space heaters and kerosene heaters in an appropriate location (including moving them away from other objects) to avoid the risk of starting a fire.

If you don’t have a smoke detector and can’t afford one—and you live in the City of Philadelphia—call 311 to receive one. If you live outside of Philadelphia, call your local fire department for assistance.

For more information on fire safety, visit the Philadelphia Fire Department online.

Stay warm and stay safe everyone.

UPDATE: A blaze that swept through two South Philadelphia rowhomes on Sunday, February 24th, killed at least one resident. Though the cause of the fire is still currently unknown, there were no working smoke alarms and space heaters used on the property.