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Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen Reminds Wisconsin Residents to Keep Warm Safely This Season


MADISON — With November's cooler, fall temperatures already here, Attorney General J. B. Van Hollen and Office of the State Fire Marshal Tina Virgil wish to remind Wisconsin residents about basic fire safety.


Nearly 40% of residential fire-related injuries and 50% of residential fatali­ties occur between the beginning of November and end of February, according to research by the U.S. Fire Administration.


For the safety of themselves and their families, it's important for everyone to remember the following:


  • Have your heating sources and chimneys inspected to ensure they are in good working condition;
  • Keep paper and other combustibles away from heating sources;
  • Use a glass or metal screen in front of your fireplace to stop sparks from setting nearby carpets or furniture on fire;
  • Never thaw frozen pipes with a blow torch or other open flame. Instead use hot water or a laboratory-tested device, such as a hair dryer;
  • Dispose of hot ashes in covered metal containers and place the containers away from the house;
  • Never use the stove or oven to heat your home;
  • Make sure to have working smoke alarms throughout the house that can sound quickly for both a fire with flames, and a smoky fire that has fumes without flames. These devices are called "Dual Sensor Smoke Alarms." Smoke alarms greatly reduce your chances of dying in a fire;
  • Make, and practice, a home fire escape plan and set a meeting place outside. Make sure all family members know at least two (2) escape routes from their bedrooms.


Additional winter fire safety tips can be found at:


For additional fire safety information, contact your local fire department, or the Office of the State Fire Marshal at 608-266-1671.