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Oklahoma City safety experts offer tips to prevent house fires

Cooler temperatures bring more fire danger at home, experts say. Distracted cooking is the No. 1 cause of house fires in Oklahoma City.
by Juliana Keeping Published: October 15, 2012
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Instead, leave the pan on the stove and let it cool.

If there has been any kind of fire, call the fire department and have a crew check it out, he said.

Water or flour should not be used on grease fires. Baking soda and salt are OK, but a better strategy might be to put a lid over the fire.

A fire extinguisher is another option; one should be kept in the house, Adams said.

Space heaters

Space heaters also pose a danger during the cooler months, according to the American Red Cross.

“We advise people to make sure if you're going to use those space heaters, give it plenty of room. Keep it off the carpet, put it on a hard surface like a tile, so if it does fall over it won't hit the fibers of the carpet,” Red Cross spokesman Ken Garcia said.

Residents who are using an older model without safety features should throw it away and replace it with an upgraded version, Adams said.

Newer space heaters have a device that shuts the appliance off when it tips. They're also more energy efficient and safer. Keep the space heater at least three feet away from other objects, Adams advised.

Homes need at least one smoke detector per level of the home, and one per bedroom, Garcia said.

Batteriesin the alarms should be checked at least twice each year.

The American Red Cross responded to 440 house fires and 35 fires in multifamily structures like apartment buildings across the region in the past year.

Garcia and Adams said an emphasis on preparedness — from installing smoke detectors to practicing escape routes — will help minimize the fire danger at home as the winter months approach.

by Juliana Keeping
Enterprise Reporter
Juliana Keeping is on the enterprise reporting team for The Oklahoman and NewsOK.com. Keeping joined the staff of The Oklahoman in 2012. Prior to that time, she worked in the Chicago media at the SouthtownStar, winning a Peter Lisagor Award...
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