Dropping temperatures increase chances for fires; Officials give tips to avoid hazards

What to keep in mind as temperatures fall across Central Florida

Stay prepared during cold snap

ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, Fla. – With temperatures dropping to the freezing category, fire officials are reminding people to do some checks before you start and end your day to avoid hazardous situations.

“We do see an increase in smoke in structures and we do see some house fires,” said Battalion Chief Marc Baumgart, of the Seminole County Fire Department.

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Baumgart said when temperatures drop, there is an increased possibility of a fire. It’s why he wants to make sure people remain safe throughout the cold temperatures central Florida will see throughout the weekend.

The first tip, according to Baumgart, is to watch where you put your space heater.

“Keep your heater on a flat surface,” Baumgart said. “You plug it directly into a wall and not into an extension cord, try to keep all combustibles at least 3 feet away from the heater.”

Baumgart said they see more potential for fires with fireplaces and suggests if you are burning wood to make sure the pieces are small, so it gets hot and it will burn less smoke.

Besides fire safety, officials remind folks of the “Ps” of cold weather safety:

  • People: Make sure to bundle up and apply layers.
  • Plants: Cover plants that may be more vulnerable.
  • Pets: Bring them inside or provide warm shelter.

[RELATED: Dos and don’ts: Covering plants before a freeze]

Baumgart also adds one more “P,” which is pipes.

“What you want to do is possibly keep your pump running over the evening, and then maybe if you have hoses outside to let them trickle a little bit so they won’t freeze,” Baumgart said.

If you need to get out of the house in the morning, just remember to wear layers coming outside.

If you need to heat your car, make sure it’s secure, and don’t leave your keys inside.

About the Author:

Brian Didlake joined the News 6 team as a reporter in March 2021.