Fireplaces are a symbol of a warm and welcoming home. But using them improperly can lead to tragedies.
Tragedies involving fires pull at our heartstrings — like the Christmas morning fire that tragically killed three children and their grandparents in Stamford, Conn. (Source: Ct. Post)
According to the Connecticut Post, the family had used their fireplace that day. Stamford, Ct.’s chief fire marshal told the Ct. Post that the initial investigation determined that the fireplace ashes and embers were discarded in a bag, which started the fire.
Based on news stories, it’s currently unclear whether there were any working smoke alarms in the home.
We at CPSC are truly saddened by these deaths and others like them.
SO PLEASE MAKE A MENTAL NOTE: Before starting a fire in the fireplace, make sure ALL of your home’s smoke alarms are working.
Even hard-wired smoke alarm systems need a battery backup, by the way.
That brings us to Mental Note No. 2: Soak hot ashes in water and place them in a covered metal container outside of your home. That’s the recommendation of the U.S. Fire Administration.
Every year, more than 3,000 people die in residential fires. About two-thirds of home fire deaths happen in homes with no working smoke alarms. You can cut the risk of dying from a fire by almost half by simply having properly installed and maintained smoke alarms in your home.
When did you last check your smoke alarms? Do you test them every month? Smoke alarms save lives every year. But remember, they can only save your life if they are able to warn you!