Cold Weather Creates Safety Concerns

By: Chris Brennaman
By: Chris Brennaman

With colder weather here, resident are relying on space heaters and other sources to stay warm in their homes. And with several house fires already, there has never been a better time to review safety procedures.

In the past few weeks, two separate house fires in the area have taken lives and several others have damaged homes.

This rash of fires has caused some people to reconsider how their home is protected from fire. Debbie Scruggs and her mother shopped for a new smoke detector Saturday.

"They were going off during the night or times that we didn't like for them to go off and they were very annoying, so we had unhooked them. But since there's been some fires we were very concerned about that. We decided that we'd better come get some that were battery operated," said Scruggs.

Working smoke detectors save thousands of lives each year. Batteries should be changed at least twice every year.

"This is the perfect time of year to really test them. It's good to keep them up year-round, but now since heat is such a big issue, and with cold nights we're having and everyone's using their heat. It's very important to ensure that you have a working unit that works properly,"
said Brent Lott, Lowe's store manager.

In addition to having a smoke detector installed in your home, it is important to have a carbon monoxide detector. Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that can be toxic.

Space heaters are a good source of supplemental heat, but remember these safety tips:

*Keep flammable objects at least 3 feet from space heaters.

*Turn it off when you leave the room or go to sleep.

*Keep an eye on pets and children around space heaters. Even slight contact can cause a severe burn.

*Some space heaters feature automatic shut-off functions after a certain time or if the heater is tipped.

*Keep the cord where people won't trip on it.

By following these tips and you can stay warm and safe this winter.

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