Avoiding home fires in the winter

The winter season is of course most commonly connected to the snow and the cold.

But you may not have known that more home fires happen during this time of year, than in any other season.

You rely on your furnace to stay warm during those rough winter months, but it isn’t working.

So what’s the next step?

“They think they’re going to be able to save money by using space heaters which you’re not gonna do that but what your gonna do is cause a hazardous situation,” said Clay Fire Marshal Dave Cherrone.

Cherrone is describing a situation that happens quite often across the Hoosier state.

According to the Indiana Department of Homeland Security, alternative heating sources, like space heaters, are involved in one out of every six home fire that happen in the winter season.

“They all need 3 feet all the way around them as you can see here this says do not cover so that if you did you’re going to overheat this unit and cause it to burn,” said Cherrone.

Cherrone says space heaters should only be plugged into outlets and if you are going to use them, make sure the tip over switch, on the bottom, is working.

What about your stove top?

Turning on a gas stove sure sounds like a way to warm up, but is it a smart idea?

“Once they are burning someone small can reach up, someone older might fall into those,” said Cherrone.

Cherrone says the flames can be hard to notice, and if something combustible is nearby, it can cause havoc.

Plus, he says gas cook stoves emit carbon dioxide when they are left on for too long.

“It’s most important, especially during this time of year when houses are all closed up to have a carbon dioxide detector,” said Cherrone.

And perhaps most important of all:

 Follow those directions, your trying to do something than do it safely and only use items meant for what you’re trying to do with them,” said Cherrone.

If you are having issues with your furnace and don’t have the funds to fix it, call 211.

Cherrone says they will direct you to an agency that will assist you in having a safe winter.

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