With 7 Deaths, Experts Encourage Fire Safety During Winter Months

December 30, 2017 06:32 PM

Since Monday, seven people have died in residential fires across Minnesota.

Because of the recent deaths, the Minnesota State Fire Marshall is urging families to practice fire safety, especially during the winter season.

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Chief Deputy State Fire Marshal Jim Smith says he sees a significant increase in house fires when temperatures drop.

"It's primarily because people are sheltered indoors more and they normally start using items that they don't use throughout the year," Smith said.  "You see more candle usage, cooking and smoking."

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Smith said space heaters is one of the leading causes of fires during the winter.

"We don't want you to plug them into extension cords, because cause extension cords tend to heat up," he said. "You need to be at least three feet away and do not leave it unattended."

Dry Christmas trees can heat up too.

"Now that the Christmas holiday is over, people forget to water them or don't get them out of their house," Smith said. "It's an unbelievable site to see a dry Christmas tree go up in flame."

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According to Smith, more than 60 people died in residential house fires across Minnesota this year. That number is up from last year.

"This is  higher than last year by about thirty percent," he said.

Smith said his message to Minnesotans during the winter season is make sure you have working smoke alarms and practice fire prevention safety.

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Smith said space heaters is one of the leading causes of fires during the winter.

"We don't want you to plug them into extension cords cause extension cords tend to heat up," said Smith. "You need to be at least three feet away and do not leave it unattended."

Dry Christmas trees can heat up too, if you're not careful.

"Now that the Christmas Holiday is over, people forget to water them or don't get them out of their house," said Smith. "It's an unbelievable site to see a dry Christmas tree go up in flame."

According to Smith, more than 60 people died in residential house fires across Minnesota this year. That number is up from last year.

"This is  higher than last year by about thirty percent," he said.

Smith said his message to Minnesotans during the winter season is make sure you have working smoke alarms and practice fire prevention safety.

 

Credits

Ben Rodgers

Copyright 2017 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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