Fire is the third leading cause of death for children ages 1 to 14 according to the National Safety Council. In 2017, 127 children died from fire or smoke inhalation.

Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune’s Fire and Emergency Services is doing what it can to raise awareness and ensure resident safety when dealing with fire. While the leading cause of household fires is still cooking fires, with winter finally here, many people will be using space heaters which draw an immense amount of energy and can contribute to electrical fires.

“Most electrical fires start because of overloaded circuits,” said Glenn P. Zurek, deputy fire chief on Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune. “People need to be mindful of what they are plugging in and where they are plugging them in.”

With many people using extension cords around their house, it is important to be mindful of furniture placement and walking areas.

“Many times, cords end up in high trafficked areas or pinched behind a piece of furniture,” Zurek said. “Pinched wires cause a buildup of heat and cause a break down in the wires. A good way to understand it is to think of a cord like a water hose. If you turn a water hose on full, then kink the hose, the water comes out slowly and pressure builds around the kink … Electricity behaves similarly. As it travels around the pinched area, heat builds up and can break down the protective layer. Eventually, when the breakdown is bad enough, fires happen.”

Zurek also asks for motorists to be mindful of parking in a place that would block a fire hydrant.