information provided by the Office of the Illinois State Fire Marshal
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (September 28, 2018) – “With cooler weather comes increased fire risk, and we want everyone to stay safe and fire free this fall,” said Fire Marshal Matt Perez. “It is important that people stay alert for potential fire hazards and practice fire safety while enjoying the cooler weather.”
Be sure to remove fall leaves, sticks, and debris from the roofs and gutters of homes, as they act as fuel to a fire. These items should also be cleared before lighting a bonfire. It is recommended that all recreational fires, such as bonfires, be contained in a pit with sidewalls, and do not exceed 3 feet wide and 2 feet tall.
Avoid burning leaves and debris on windy days, as wind can cause a fire to get out of control quickly. Always follow local ordinances when burning and disposing of yard waste. Be aware that embers from burning leaves can spread and start a larger fire. All fires are recommended to be a minimum of 15 feet from structures and combustible materials and should remain attended at all times.
Make sure all fall and holiday decorations are flame retardant, and use a battery light instead of a candle in jack o’ lanterns.
Anyone opting to use a space heater to keep warm should be sure it is placed at least three feet away from other objects, such as curtains, and always be sure to unplug it when it’s not in use. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) space heaters account, annually, for 43 percent of U.S. home heating fires.
All fireplaces should be cleaned and inspected before use to ensure everything is in proper working order. Utilize a fireplace screen to keep sparks from floating out of a fireplace and always put out a fire before going to bed or leaving the house.
Additional fire safety tips can be found on the NFPA website.