Carbon Monoxide and Fires
PUT A FREEZE ON WINTER FIRES
The United State Fire Administration (USFA) and NFPA remind you that home fires are more prevalent in winter than in any other season. People are at greater risk in the winter season when they may use unsafe heat sources or if they don’t follow fire safety rules in the kitchen or while using candles.
Facts and figures
- In 2010, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated 80,100 non-fire CO incidents in which carbon monoxide was found, or an average of nine calls per hour.
- A person can be poisoned by a small amount of CO over a longer period of time or by a large amount of CO over a shorter amount of time.
Source: NFPA’s Non-Fire Carbon Monoxide Incidents report.
- Roughly half of home electrical fires involve electrical distribution or lighting equipment.
- Nearly half of home electrical fires involve equipment such as fans, washers, dryers, space heaters and air conditioners.
Source:NFPA’s Electrical Firesreport.
Carbon monoxide incidents are more common during the winter months, and in residential properties. Carbon monoxide calls to fire departments are more common during the early evening hours.
- NFPA report: Carbon monoxide incidents
- Carbon monoxide fact sheet
- Carbon monoxide safety tip sheet
- NFPA report: Deaths and Injuries due to Non-Fire Exposure to Gases
- More about carbon monoxide.
Video: NFPA’s Ben Evarts explains why carbon monoxide is dangerous.
Electricity is one of our basic needs. The best way to keep your home safe from electrical hazards is to take good care of appliances and to use all electrical equipment properly.
- NFPA report: Electrical Fires
- Electrical fires fact sheet
- Free toolkit: resources for a community electrical safety campaign.
- Safety tip sheets on electricity, outdoor electrical safety, CFL light bulbs, and clothes dryers
Heating equipment is one of the leading causes of home fires during the winter months. In fact, half of all home heating fires occur in December, January, and February.
- NFPA report: Home Fires Involving Heating Equipment
- Ten tips to get ahead of the winter freeze (PDF, 352 KB)
- Heating fact sheet (free tip sheet)
- Portable fireplaces fact sheet (free tip sheet)
- Sparky® has a heating safety checklist for kids (PDF, 519 KB).
- Free toolkit: resources for a community heating safety campaign
Cooking is the leading cause of home fires and related injuries.
- NFPA report: Home Fires Involving Cooking Equipment
- Cooking fire fact sheet (free tip sheet)
- Thanksgiving fire fact sheet (free tip sheet)
- NFPA discourages the use of turkey fryers that immerse the turkey in hot oil.
- Free toolkit: resources for a community cooking safety campaign.
The top three days for home candle fires are Christmas, New Year’s Day and Christmas Eve.
The winter holiday season should be a joyous time of year. However, certain types of fires and injuries associated with holiday decorating are much more common during this season.
- NFPA report: Home Christmas Tree and Holiday Light Fires
- NFPA report: Home Structure Fires That Began with Decorations
- Statistics: Christmas tree and holiday light fires (PDF, 51 KB)
- Christmas tree fire safety tips
See more NFPA resources on winter safety topics: