Red Cross Urges Caution Heating Homes As Weather Gets Colder
Published on December 14, 2011
NEW PHILADELPHIA— With colder weather just around the corner and home heating season just beginning, the Red Cross urges families to be cautious when using alternative heating sources and to make a plan in case of a home fire.
Heat sources such as space heaters, fireplaces or wood and coal stoves can pose a fire hazard. These heating sources are the leading cause of winter fires, and increase during the winter months of December, January and February.
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.
‘Each fire our volunteers respond to become more than a statistic – each fire represents individuals and families whose homes were damaged or destroyed by a fire and forced to cope with the sudden loss of their belongings,” said Chad Conrad, executive director. “But the good news is that there are steps you can take to reduce your risk of a home fire.”
The American Red Cross 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.
- Never leave a fire in the fireplace unattended, and use a glass or metal fire screen to keep fire and embers in the fireplace.
- Never use a cooking range or oven to heat your home.
- Turn off portable space heaters every time you leave the room or go to sleep.
- Have wood and coal stoves, fireplaces, and chimneys inspected annually by a professional, and cleaned if necessary.
- If you must use a space heater, place it on a level, hard and nonflammable surface (such as ceramic tile floor), not on rugs, or carpets or near bedding or drapes. Plug power cords directly into outlets and never into an extension cord.
Red Cross continually urges area residents to take the time to prepare before a fire strikes by checking smoke alarms and creating evacuations plans
“We will always be there for people whenever and wherever disaster strikes. But since we are not a government agency, we depend on the voluntary contributions and giving of the American people to help us do our work,” says Conrad.
The Red Cross depends on the generous support of area individuals, businesses and organizations. You can help your neighbors recover from disasters like home fires by making a tax-deductible donation to the chapter’s Save the Day campaign. Financial contributions can be mailed to 1451 4th St. NW, New Philadelphia, OH 44663 or calling 330.343.8633. Individuals can also help by volunteering.
Serving Tuscarawas, Carroll and Harrison counties, the Muskingum Lakes Chapter is a not for profit, humanitarian organization, led by volunteers, that provides relief to victims of disasters and helps people prevent, prepare for, and respond to emergencies. To get more involved with the Red Cross, visit www.mlcredcross.org.