The new year is starting with a blast of cold weather, and the American Red Cross is supporting warming shelters in some areas and urging people to be cautious if using alternative heating methods to stay warm.
A giant mass of frigid air is blanketing the eastern half of the country all the way down to Florida, bringing with it snow squalls and temperatures dipping down into the single digits.
The Red Cross responds to an average of 170 home fires a day – that’s one fire every eight minutes. As home heating costs rise, many people are resorting to supplemental heating sources to cut down on costs. These alternate heating sources can be dangerous if not used properly. The Red Cross offers the following safety tips on how to prevent a fire in the home when turning to additional heating resources to keep warm:
Smoke alarms save lives. People should:
Making sure all members of the household know what to do during a fire is one of the most important steps people can take to stay safe. Everyone should know two ways to escape from every room of the home, and set up a meeting place outside in case of fire. Practice escaping from the home at least twice a year and at different times of the day. Teach household members to stop, drop and roll if their clothing should catch on fire.
For more information on what you can do to keep you and your loved ones safe, visit the “Help Prevent Home Fires” section of our website.