Red Cross urges caution heating homes

BY KEN GARCIA, Red Cross Modified: October 25, 2012 at 2:42 pm •  Published: October 25, 2012
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Local forecasts are calling for some cold weather in Oklahoma. As temperatures start to dip, the American Red Cross urges families to be cautious when using space heaters and other heating sources, and to make a plan in case of a home fire. Heating sources are the leading cause of house and apartment fires during the cold weather.

Heat sources such as space heaters, fireplaces or wood and coal stoves can pose a fire hazard. To reduce the risk of heating related fires, the Red Cross recommends keeping anything that can burn such as paper, bedding or furniture, at least three feet away from heating equipment and fireplaces and to never leave these unattended.

“In the last year the Central and Western Oklahoma Region responded to 440 house fires and 35 multi-family fires (apartments, condos, etc.) across the region.” said Janienne Bella, Central and Western Oklahoma Region CEO. “But the good news is that there are steps you can take to reduce your risk of a home fire all year and during the chilly weather.”

The American Red Cross wants the number of house fires not to rise as the temperatures drop, so it offers the following fire prevention tips:

• All heaters need space. Keep all things that can burn (paper, matches, bedding, furniture, clothing, carpets, and rugs) at least three feet away from heating equipment.



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