The Office of the State Fire Marshal would like to remind the public on the importance of home fire safety during the winter months.

“Half of all reported home fires happen during months of December, January and February, and we have already seen an increase in home fires this winter,” said Rhode Island State Fire Marshal Tim McLaughlin. “With more people home more than ever due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we want to put out these practical tips to help folks stay safe this season.”

The Fire Marshal recommends the following home safety tips.

Heating Safety Tips:

1)     Keep anything flammable at least three feet away from heating source i.e. Fireplace, portable space heater or wood stove.

2)      Make sure you maintain a three-foot “kids’ zone” around open fire or space heaters.

3)     Never use your oven to heat your home.

4)     Make sure all portable heaters are used to the manufacturer’s specifications.

5)     Turn off all portable heaters when leaving the room.

6)     Always let ashes cool before putting in a metal container.


Generator Safety Tips:

1)     Generators should only be used in a well-ventilated area.

2) Generators should never be used in attached garage, even with the door open.

3) Generators must be directed away from the house so fumes cannot enter.

4) Make sure all carbon monoxide detectors are working.

Wood & Pellet Stove Tips:

1)     Stove should only be installed by a qualified professional.

2)     Burn only dry seasoned wood or pellets in stove.

3)     Always put cooled ashes in a metal container. Keep ashes at least 10 feet away from building.

Cooking Safety Tips:

1)     Remain in the home if you are simmering, baking or roasting food. Use a timer to remind you that food is cooking.

2)     Always be alert, especially if you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol. Do not use the stove top if tired or otherwise impaired.

3)     If fire occurs on stove top, slide a lid over the pan and turn off the burner. Never put water on the fire.

4)     If fire occurs in oven, turn off oven and keep door closed.


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