Nearly half of all home heating fires occurred in December, January, and February
Illinoisans will be turning up their thermostats to stay warm for the rest of the winter season, which brings an increased risk for home fires and carbon monoxide incidents. Unlike smoke, carbon monoxide is a colorless and odorless gas only detectable by special devices and CO alarms. The Office of the State Fire Marshal (OSFM) encourages residents to have their furnaces checked, change furnace filters, and make sure carbon monoxide (CO) and smoke detectors are functioning properly.
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), heating is the second leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries, and the third leading cause of home fire deaths. Local fire departments across the country responded to an estimated average of 48,530 fires involving heating equipment per year in 2014-2018, accounting for 14% of all reported home fires during this time. These fires resulted in annual losses of 500 civilian deaths, 1,350 civilian injuries, and $1.1 billion in direct property damage.