What you need to know to prevent fires in your home this winter

The temperatures in the Crossroads are changing so that means dealing with fires during the winter will change as well. Here are a few tips on how to stay safe.

“A few of the safety tips for the winter is to make sure you have a heater that has a safety switch on it. So that if it falls over it will automatically turn itself off. Remember space heaters are intended to break chill in the air,” said Cyndi Smith, DeWitt County Emergency Management Coordinator.

Smith said, make sure you check your furnaces and smoke detectors at least once a month.

“Make a plan early to have two exits to get out of your home. Teach your children if the smoke alarm goes off to get out of the house first. Go hug a tree, or go hug a mailbox and wait for the family to gather at that location. So that way everybody will be accounted for if a fire occurred,” said Smith.

The U.S. Fire Administrations Statistics show that a heating device that’s to close to a material item inside the home is the leading cause of winter fires, resulting in approximately 890 deaths each year.

“If you smell gas in your home immediately exit the building. Do not wait or call 911 from your house because any electrical spark, like turning on the light, lifting a receiver or even activating your cell phone could cause just enough spark to set off an actual gas leak,” said Smith.

Smith says that if you don’t have a working smoke detector contact The American Red Cross for assistance.