City of Cleveland Division of Fire Shares Winter Safety Tips

As cold weather quickly approaches, the City of Cleveland Division of Fire offers residents tips for staying safe this winter. Fires typically increases during the winter months. Below are some important safety tips for fire prevention this winter:

Space Heaters

  • Keep heaters’ space clear of debris and check for any loose wiring.
  • Do not place objects that may be flammable within three feet of heaters, as the heat from them may cause items to ignite.
  • Please refrain from using your stove to heat your home. This is a VERY dangerous practice as it could cause a fire and or cause carbon monoxide to accumulate inside your home.
  • Remember to always follow any safety guidelines suggested by the manufacturer. 

Electrical Fires

  • Avoid overloading circuits and be mindful when using extension cords. 
  • Do not place cords under rugs as they could cause a fire as well as being a trip and fall hazard.
  • Major appliances such as a refrigerator, stove and microwave oven, should be plugged directly into an outlet – not an extension cord. This includes space heaters as well.
  • Unused small appliances – such as coffee makers or blenders – should be unplugged when not in use.


  • Never leave an oven or burner unattended. If you do have to step away, take a spatula or oven mitt with you to remind you that you are cooking.
  • Use extra caution when frying foods at high temperatures and make certain to keep any flammable items – like hand towels, paper towels, oils, etc. – away from the cooking area.
  • NEVER put water on a grease fire.

In addition to these safety tips, always be mindful of the silent killer – carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless and tasteless gas that can lead to serious tissue damage or even death.  Should your carbon monoxide detector go off, leave the residence IMMEDIATELY and call 9-1-1. When you leave, make sure to leave your home closed up tightly so that when help does arrive the source of the problem can be properly identified and an accurate CO reading can be obtained with our detection equipment.

Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include:

  • Dull headache
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea or Vomiting
  • Shortness of breath
  • Confusion
  • Blurred Vision
  • Loss of consciousness

Keep fuel-burning appliances and engines properly vented:

  • Space heaters
  • Furnaces – Check for birds nest, snow drifts, etc. in front of your vent
  • Cooking ranges – Never try to heat your home with your stove
  • Wood burning stoves
  • Portable generators
  • Fireplaces – Have you Fireplace serviced regularly.
  • Water heaters
  • Car and truck engines

Create a home fire escape plan and practice it twice a year:

  • Draw a floor plan of your home
  • Identify the rooms
  • Locate the doors and windows
  • Identify two Escape Routes for each room
  • Make sure that you provide alternatives for anyone with a disability, or anyone requiring assistance.
  • Identify a meeting place outside of your home that all members are aware of.

In need of a free smoke detector? Call the Red Cross Smoke Detector Hotline at 216 361-5535.