Colder Weather Increases Risk of Fire!

In 2020 there were 2,695 fires in North Dakota and almost 67% of those fires were accidental fires.* Some fire departments in larger cities will perform annual fire inspections at businesses, commercial buildings, and residential buildings to identify potential fire hazards.

We encourage you to complete your own workplace inspection to search for these common fire hazards:

  • Test Your Fire Extinguishers

    Make sure your fire extinguishers are tested yearly, properly hung on the wall in an easily accessible area, the correct size, and that your employees have the proper training.

  • Electrical Space Heaters

    Identify where electrical space heaters are present and check for proper usage. They should be plugged directly into a wall outlet and never include the use of extension cords or surge protectors.

  • Check Area Around Your Heating Appliances

    Inspect the space around gas-fired furnaces, water heaters and other heating appliances to confirm the space is clear of cardboard or other flammable materials.

  • Smoking Receptacles

    If your business has smoking receptacles, verify they are at least six feet away from the building and confirm there’s a plan in place for emptying them on a regular basis.

  • Exit Doors

    Ensure exit doors are clear of obstructions. During winter months, make sure exit doors are clear of snow and ice so they can fully open.

  • Surge Protectors

    Inspect the use of surge protectors to ensure they are only plugged into the wall and educate employees on proper usage. Do NOT plug surge protectors into other surge protectors or into an extension cord.

  • Emergency Lighting

    Test all emergency lighting and exit signs monthly to verify batteries and bulbs are working.

  • Smoke Alarms and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

    Check all smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors twice a year, usually around daylight savings time.

  • Decorating For Holidays

    When decorating for the holidays, advise staff not to cover fire extinguishers or exit doors and to keep decorations away from high heat sources.

  • Emergency Operations Plans

    Review your company’s Emergency Operations Plan (EOP) and verify all staff are educated on the EOP procedures.

Hands-on fire extinguisher training, as well as EOP services and first aid supplies, are available through the NDSC. For more information call (701) 223-6372.

*2020 Monthly State Fire Report from the ND State Fire Marshall