For Immediate Release: January 9, 2018

Contact: Marla Sink at 919-807-6017

Fire deaths on the rise as a result of cold snap

RALEIGH -- Eleven people have died in fires in North Carolina so far this year. Last year, nine people lost their lives as a result of fire during the entire month of January.

“One life lost in fire is one life too many, “said Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey who also serves as the state fire marshal. “It is imperative citizens know of the dangers associated with home heating and carbon monoxide so they can take extra precautions during this blast of winter weather, “Causey said.

Each year during December, January and February, there is an increase in the number of home fires related to heating. According to National Fire Protection Association, heating is the second leading cause of home fires, deaths and injuries in the U.S.

In 2017, 83 people lost their lives in North Carolina because of fire. That is 14 more people from the year before in 2016.

In addition to fires, winter weather increases the chances of carbon monoxide poisonings. Carbon monoxide is often referred to as the silent killer because the gas released is colorless and odorless. Vehicles, generators and home heating can produce dangerous levels in your home in a short amount of time, enough to cause illness or even death. Carbon monoxide poisoning mimics common illness such as the flu or food poisoning with symptoms to include shortness of breath, nausea, dizziness, light headedness or headaches.

The North Carolina Department of Insurance, Office of State Fire Marshal and Safe Kids NC recommends the following NFPA’s safety tips to prevent fire, injury or poisonings.

Heating

Portable Generators

Fireplace Safety

Carbon Monoxide

For more information, contact Injury Prevention Deputy Director, Shannon Bullock at 919.218.3396 or Shannon.Bullock@ncdoi.gov

--NC OSFM--