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Texoma fire safety experts share home heating equipment tips for a chilly week ahead

Cold weather means many will start cranking up the heat, but statistics show it can be...
Cold weather means many will start cranking up the heat, but statistics show it can be dangerous with heat equipment being a leading cause of fires in homes nationwide.(kxii)
Published: Nov. 29, 2020 at 7:18 PM CST
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LOVE COUNTY, Okla. (KXII) - Cold weather means many will start cranking up the heat, but statistics show it can be dangerous with heat equipment being a leading cause of fires in homes nationwide.

“It’s around this time of year we have a lot of house fires, chimney fires, house fires or space heaters and stuff of that nature,” said Charles Campbell, Criner Hills volunteer fire chief.

The National Fire Protection Association said home heating fires are one of the leading causes of fire deaths. Most are reported during the months of December, January and February.

Fire Chief Campbell said improper use of space heaters can turn deadly.

Cold weather means many will start cranking up the heat, but statistics show it can be...
Cold weather means many will start cranking up the heat, but statistics show it can be dangerous with heat equipment being a leading cause of fires in homes nationwide.

“People will plug them up with an extension cord, it’s not recommended, they’ll also walk off and leave them burning or they’ll forget to turn them off when they go outside,” said Campbell.

He said one rule to follow is give space heaters space.

“We practice a really good rule of three feet from heat. Make sure you’re keeping it three feet from anything that’s flammable,” said Linda Medford, American Red Cross disaster program specialist.

Medford said other tips include checking smoke alarms and having an escape plan.

“People don’t realize that they have only about two minutes to get out of a home before the smoke can overcome you,” said Medford.

With cold weather creeping up on Texoma, Campbell said it’s an important time to be cautious.

“It’s real serious about using a space heater, like especially if you plug it in with an extension cord make sure, if it is going to be, the extension cord is a real heavy cord,” said Campbell.

Medford said people can learn how to prepare for emergencies by visiting their website. Any organization interested can request a virtual presentation on how to be Red Cross Ready by contacting the Ardmore Office at 580-223-6313.

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