In early November, Eden Prairie firefighters responded to a residential house fire that caused thousands of dollars in damage, and injured the homeowner and a firefighter.
The fire started with an incense log left burning on a desktop. Luckily, working smoke alarms alerted the residents to the fire and they were able to exit the home safely. The first fire engine arrived on the scene in less than five minutes. In that time, the fire had grown significantly and consumed an entire bedroom.
While unattended cooking still remains the leading cause of fires in Minnesota, the Eden Prairie Fire Department is reminding residents about fire risks with unattended burning materials. The holidays are upon us and historically, the use of candles and other open flame devices rises in the winter months. While technology has allowed us to use battery-operated candles as a safe alternative, some believe that nothing beats the smell of a traditional burning candle. This, along with an increase in combustible materials (decorations) in your home creates the perfect storm for a fire to quickly spread out of control.
To prepare for a safe home this holiday season, check your smoke alarms, have an escape plan and consider using flameless candles. If you choose to use traditional candles, place them on a hard, noncombustible surface, such as a glass plate, and extinguish them before leaving the room. Also, remember that heat rises and items located directly above candles or other open flame devices can conduct heat and begin to burn.
Happy holidays, and stay safe!