According to the National Weather Service, a major winter storm will impact the east coast today and tomorrow. A powerful nor'easter is expected to bring snow, ice, rain, very strong winds, and rough surf to coastal locations of the Southeast U.S., Middle Atlantic, Northeast, and into New England. Bitter cold temperatures and dangerously cold wind chills are forecast. Fire and health safety officials are warning residents to take precautions when heating their homes to reduce their risk of winter fires, carbon monoxide poisoning, and electrical fires and other hazards.
Carbon Monoxide: Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless gas created when fuels do not burn completely. Incidents are more common during the winter months, and in residential properties.
Winter storms: Home fires occur more in the winter than in any other season, and heating equipment is involved in one of every six reported home fires.
Generators: Portable generators are useful during power outages, but many homeowners are unaware that improper use can be risky. The most common danger is CO poisoning.
Candles: December is the peak time of the year for candle fires. Each year between 2009 and 2013, an average of 25 home candle fires were reported each day.
Electrical: Electrical home fires are a leading cause of home fires in the U.S.
For more on these topics, see the Put a Freeze on Winter Fires campaign, sponsored by NFPA and the U.S. Fire Administration for infographics, printable giveaways, fire statistics, videos, and fact and tip sheets.