Public Safety Director's Spotlight - Put a Freeze on Winter Fires

Auto Show, Family Winter Carnival, Art Exhibits, Essay Contest and more to enjoy!

January 23, 2015 | 4 min reading time


Put a Freeze on Winter Fires

According to the National Fire Protection Association, the winter months are the leading time of year for home fires.  To help you stay safe, here are a few safety tips and information on heating and cooking – factors that contribute to the increased risk of home fires in the winter months.

Heating equipment is a leading cause of home fire deaths.  Half of home heating equipment fires are reported during the months of  December, January, and February.  Below are some simple steps that can prevent most heating-related fires from happening:

* Keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from heating equipment, like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove, or portable space heater.

* Have a three-foot "kid-free zone" around open fires and space heaters.

* Never use your oven to heat your home.

* Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.

* Test smoke alarms monthly.

Cooking is the number one cause of home fires and home injuries.  Being mindful while you cook can go a long way to helping prevent fires.  Always:

* Keep an eye on what you fry.

* Be alert when cooking.

* Keep things that catch fire away from the cooking area.

Upcoming Events

Jan. 22 –25 – 2015 St. Louis Auto Show, America's Center & Edward Jones Dome, Noon

Rev up your engines for the 2015 St. Louis Auto Show that rolled into America's Center Thursday and will continue through Sunday.  Hundreds of new cars, trucks, vans and sport utility vehicles are on display representing domestic and foreign manufacturers.  For more details and ticket information, visit the web site.

Jan. 23 – Opening Reception for Moments of Silence Exhibition, Harris-Stowe State University, 6 p.m.

The Opening Reception for the Moments of Silence: A Response to the Ferguson Experience Exhibition will take place this Saturday at 6 p.m. at the Don and Heide Wolff Jazz Institute and Art Gallery in the Henry Givens Administration Building of Harris-Stowe State University, 3026 Laclede Avenue.  This exhibition by the Coalition of Artists for Peace will focus on the state of human relationships in response to a national crisis and will include works of several local and national artists including Chabi Bayoc, Lucia Garcia, and Fabio Rodriguez.  For more information, contact the Coalition at

Jan. 23 &24 – Winter Rummage Sale, Lafayette Park United Methodist Church, 8 a.m.

Lafayette Park United Methodist Church will hold its January Rummage Sale this Friday and Saturday at the church located at 2300 Lafayette Avenue.  The hours will be 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday and 8 a.m. to Noon on Saturday.  Visitors will be able to take advantage of $2 a bag day on Saturday.  Questions?  Call (314) 771-9214.

Jan. 24 – Family Winter Carnival, Soulard Market Park, Noon to 4 p.m.

The Family Winter Carnival will take place this Saturday from Noon to 4 p.m. at the Bud Light Party Centre in Soulard Market Park, 9th and Lafayette.  This free, family-friendly event will keep the kids busy with bounce houses, story time, fire trucks and more!  Kids can also explore fun interactive displays by local artists and organizations.  The whole family can pick out festive crowns, masquerade masks, and face paint to get in the Mardi Gras spirit.  The Carnival will conclude at 4 p.m. with the Children's Parade through Soulard.  For more information, visit the web site.

Jan. 25 – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Church Celebration Essay Contest, St. Alphonsus Liguori "Rock" Catholic Church, 3 p.m.

Everyone is invited to St. Alphonsus Liguori "Rock" Catholic Church this Sunday at 3 p.m. for the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Church Celebration Essay Contest.  The free program will include reading of the winning essays and awards presentations.  The guest speaker will be Rev. Dr. Doris Graham.  The event is sponsored by State MLK Commissioner Anita Banks.  For more information, call (314) 382-9545.

Jan. 25 – Eric Greitens' Strength and Compassion Exhibit, International Photography Hall of Fame and Museum, 11 a.m.

Everyone is invited to stop by the International Photography Hall of Fame and Museum this Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. to see Eric Greitens' Strength and Compassion Exhibit.  The exhibit brings together the best of Greitens' award-winning international humanitarian photography work.  Visitors will see striking photos from Rwanda, Cambodia, Mexico, the Gaza Strip and Croatia, to name but a few of the countries included in the display.  The Museum is located at 3415 Olive Street.  For more information, visit the web site.

Save the Date

Jan. 29 – Feb. 1 –St. Louis RV Vacation & Travel Show, America's Center, 10 a.m.

Jan. 30 – Food Policy "Brown Bag" Lunch, Gateway Greening Office, Noon

Jan. 30 – Mardi Gras STL –Wine, Beer &Whiskey Taste, 12th &Allen, 7 p.m.

Jan. 31 – Mardi Gras STL –Cajun Cook-Off, 12th &Allen, Noon

Jan. 31 – Arch Rival Roller Girls Annual Trivia Night, The German Cultural Society, 6 p.m.

Jan. 31 – Coronation Ceremony for Poet Laureate, Regional Arts Commission, 3 p.m.

Feb. 1 – St. Louis' Big Game Bash, Ballpark Village, 2 p.m.

Promoting Your Neighborhood Activities

Is there a neighborhood event on the schedule that you would like noted in the Spotlight?  If so, you may email the information about it to me at or to Cathy Smentkowski at for consideration.  You may also post it on the City's Calendar of Events on the City's web site:  The link to submit an event is at the very bottom of the home page.  The listing is free.  I encourage you to take advantage of this free way to promote your event.

Volunteer Opportunity

The annual Hardee's Rise and Shine for Heat is scheduled for Friday, February 13  .Official Greeters are needed at various local Hardee's locations for at least one hour between the 6 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. time slots.  Invite members of your club, neighborhood association or business group to join you in this effort to help Heat-Up St. Louis help the needy with utility assistance.  All volunteers get a free breakfast and souvenir apron.  For a sign up sheet and to learn more, visit the web site.

Col. Richard Gray

Director of Public Safety

City of St. Louis

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