When cold weather hits, Illinoisans raise the thermostat to stay warm. The Office of the State Fire Marshal is encouraging residents that now is a good time to check your furnace, your filters, and make sure carbon monoxide and smoke detectors are working properly.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, heating equipment is a leading cause of home fires in the US. Local fire departments responded to an average of 52 thousand fires involving heating equipment each year from 2012-2016. Fires like this have lead to the loss of 490 civilians’ lives, 1,400 civilian injuries, and nearly $1 Billion dollars in property damage.
State Fire Marshall spokesperson JC Fultz says that there are different kinds of alarms out there for you to buy to protect your home.
Fultz says symptoms of CO poisoning are similar to the flu.
Illinois fire departments responded to 23,000 calls about carbon monoxide in 2019. Of those calls, 11,000 were actual leaks. Space heaters can also lead to fires due to improper use. Plug space heaters directly into wall outlets and not into extension cords and keep them at least three feet from curtains, clothing, furniture, and bedding. You can also purchase units that have automatic shutoffs in case it tips over or stays on too long. For more information, click here.