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Carbon Monoxide and Fires

January 8, 2014


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

Carbon monoxide

  • 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.

Electrical safety

  • 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

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.


Video: NFPA’s Ben Evarts explains why carbon monoxide is dangerous.

Electrical safety

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.


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.


Cooking is the leading cause of home fires and related injuries.


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.

See more NFPA resources on winter safety topics:

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