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Cleveland fire calls spike in 2017, fire department issues home fire safety warning

Cleveland Fire Department issues safety warning
Posted at 10:23 PM, Dec 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-20 22:24:07-05

The Cleveland Fire Department issued a home safety warning after a spike in fire calls in 2017.

Mike Norman, Cleveland Fire Department Public Information Officer, told News 5 more home fire safety awareness is needed, especially during the holiday season.

Norman pointed to Cleveland fire statistics, showing 65,267 calls to the department through November 26, 2017, compared to 64,329 in 2016, and 62,952 in 2015, for the same time period.

Norman told News 5 electrical fires are one key reason for the spike in fire calls.

In some cases, residents are plugging too many electrical devices into one circuit.

"Using space heaters, we'll have issues where circuits are overloaded, and those can start fires," said Norman.

"We have issues with extension cords. You want to make sure extension cords are used temporarily, and that they're not run under carpets or across thresholds, or any place where they're going to get worn."

According to fire records, fires caused by careless cooking continues to be a problem in 2017.

Norman said high tech materials in household products are an issue when it comes to house fires.

"The plastic that are in the furniture, the plastic that are in the residence, make these fires grow quicker, they burn hotter. The smoke is more toxic than it was in the past," said Norman. "Keeping up with your home maintenance, and making sure electrical repairs are done by qualified electricians. Just your practices as you approach the holidays."

Norman again reinforced the critical need for working smoke detectors in the home.

Norman referred residents to use fire safety and education resources posted on the fire department website.