The Minnesota Department of Public Safety has declared this week Winter Hazard Awareness Week.  Each day there's a new topic.  Today's topic deals with the increase of fire incidents in the winter months.  What causes winter fires, and how can you prevent them?  Read on.

During the winter months we use more heat sources, lighting, cooking, and holiday activities.  This brings an increased chance of fire.  Here's some tips to prevent fires from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety

Heating:

The high cost of heating fuels and utilities have caused many Americans to search for alternative methods of home heating. Wood burning stoves are growing in popularity and space heaters are selling rapidly, or coming out of storage. Fireplaces are burning wood and man-made logs. All these methods of heating may be acceptable — but without caution, they’re a major contributing factor in residential fires.

Cooking:

Families and guests tend to gather in the kitchen, but it can be the most hazardous room in the house if you don't practice safe cooking behavior. Careless use of cooking equipment, usually a range or stovetop, is the leading cause of home fires and home-fire injuries in the United States. ALWAYS have someone watching the stove!

Holiday Fire Safety:

Holiday decorating goes a long way to help brighten up our wintery days and long nights. Unfortunately, decorations become a significant hazard if not used carefully. An estimated 250 home fires involving Christmas trees and another 170 involving holiday lights and other decorative lighting occur each year across the U.S. By following a few simple safety tips on electric lights, candles and Christmas trees, you can avoid creating a tragedy. Learn how to prevent a fire or what to do in case of a fire in your home.