Tips For Safe Home Heating As Temperatures Drop - KHGI-TV/KWNB-TV/KHGI-CD-Grand Island, Kearney, Hastings

Tips For Safe Home Heating As Temperatures Drop

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With below zero temperatures and even lower wind chills throughout much of Nebraska and Iowa, it is important that families and individuals remain vigilant in practicing home fire safety.

Heat sources that people often turn to in the winter months 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. 

"Last month, the Nebraska/SW Iowa Region responded to more than 60 home fires across Nebraska and in portions of Iowa," said Tina Labellarte, Region CEO. "But the good news is that there are steps you can take to reduce your risk of a home fire."

Home fire safety tips from the Red Cross:

  • Keep items that can catch on fire at least three feet away from anything that gets hot, such as space heaters.
  • Never smoke in bed.
  • Talk to your children regularly about the dangers of fire, matches and lighters and keep them out of reach.
  • Turn portable heaters off when you leave the room or go to sleep.
  • The most effective way to protect yourself and your home from fire is to identify and remove fire hazards.

About 65 percent of house fire deaths occur in homes with no working smoke alarms. During a home fire, working smoke alarms can save lives.

Smoke Alarm Safety Tips:

  • Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas.
  • Teach your children what smoke alarms sound like and what to do when they hear one.
  • Once a month check whether each alarm in the home is working properly by pushing the test button.
  • Replace batteries in smoke alarms at least once a year. Immediately install a new battery if an alarm chirps, warning the battery is low.
  • Smoke alarms should be replaced every 10 years. Never disable smoke or carbon monoxide alarms.
  • Carbon monoxide alarms are not substitutes for smoke alarms. Know the difference between the sound of smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms.

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