THE OWOSSO FIRE DEPARTMENT responded to a house fire on Frazier Street in Owosso on Tuesday morning, Jan. 26. No injuries were reported and according to one occupant, six people and two dogs were inside the home that morning and everyone got out. The house was destroyed.

   The fire remains under investigation. The Corunna Caledonia Fire Department and Owosso Township Fire Department assisted with the fire.

(Independent Photo/Karen Mead-Elford)

    Area fire departments have been kept quite busy in recent days. A house fire on N. Ruess Road in Owosso Township on Friday, Jan. 15 led to the discovery of a body found at the scene. Another house fire on Clyde Street on Sunday, Jan. 24 and a fire on Frazier Street, both in Owosso, remain under investigation with no injuries reported. Though all three of these house fires are varied and exact causes have not been determined, they do necessitate Shiawassee County homeowners being aware of some of the dangers in a home that can contribute to a fire and the preventative measures that can reduce the risk for such fires.

   According to information provided by the National Fire Protection Association at nfpa.org, an international nonprofit dedicated to fire safety, some common causes of house fires are cooking accidents, heating, electrical issues, smoking and candles.

   NFPA states that cooking fires are actually the number one cause of fires and home injuries with the leading cause of fires being unattended cooking. Heating is second in causing home fires and home fire injuries, followed by fires caused from electrical problems, smoking and candles. The NFPA site has a number of downloadable and easy to follow safety tip sheets available to anyone.

   Seasonal fire causes are often connected to particular holidays such as Halloween, Christmas, the 4th of July or grilling food. During the winter, risks are heightened by holiday decorations, candles, snowstorms combined with unsafe home heating, and carbon monoxide or electrical fire problems.

   For family members with children at home, NFPA also has a number of educational tools available for kids or parents, offering strategies for high-risk individuals such as children, seniors or those with disabilities.

   Some signs to be aware of regarding overloaded circuits or potential electrical problems in a house are flickering or dimming lights, warm call plates that might be discolored, burning odors near wall switches, frequently tripped circuit breakers or blown fuses or mild shocks from appliances or switches. NFPA states that house fires caused by electrical fires result in over 400 deaths per year.

   Recommended safety equipment includes working smoking alarms, fire extinguishers and carbon monoxide alarms.

   Owosso Public Safety Director Kevin Lenkart shared the cause of many local home fires often remain undetermined, so fire prevention is critical.

   The American Red Cross of Mid-Michigan is calling on everyone to “take two simple steps that can save lives: check existing smoke alarms to ensure they are working properly and practice a fire escape plan, making sure that everyone in the family knows how to get out of every room and how to get out of the home in less than two minutes.”

Please Don’t Forget Home Fire Safety was last modified: February 2nd, 2021 by Karen Elford