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Safe Ways to Keep Your Home Warm

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- If you are able to stay home Monday during the dangerously cold condition, staying safe in the frigid weather is still key. The Springfield Fire Department has information about safe ways to warm your home this week.
We've had 7 fires relating to people and their attempts to stay warm during this cold season
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- If you are able to stay home Monday during the dangerously cold condition, staying safe in the frigid weather is still key..  The Springfield Fire Department has information about safe ways to warm your home this week.

Ben Basham from the Springfield Fire Department says fires related to heating your home are common this time of year.
"What we've seen already this season, we've had 7 fires relating to people and their attempts to stay warm during this cold season," he says.

Basham says they can be caused by anything.  "Everything from space heaters being placed too close to combustibles, we've had a couple of fires started by people removing ash from fireplaces and placing them in containers that were combustible."

He says overusing space heaters is one reason to blame.  "The primary thing is to remember that those are exactly what they say they are, they are space heaters and they are not intended to heat the entire house," Basham stresses.

Improper use is also a cause.  "Make sure they are plugged directly to an outlet and not through an extension cord," says Basham.

He says it can come down to feet when placing things near a heater or furnace.
"The primary thing that you want to keep in mind with that is you want to keep those away from any sort of combustible a minimum of three feet."

And anything too close can start a fire.  "It can be anything from furniture, to clothing, to bedding, anything like that  had a blanket or combustibles of that type lying over the floor furnace and when it came on it ignited those and caught the house on fire."

But just taking a minute to think and check can prevent them.

"I would say that one of the critical issues is would be to make sure that you have a working smoke alarm in your house, check it monthly to make sure it works, it can make the difference between life and death."

 And Basham says if you plan to use a wood burning fire place, be sure to have it cleaned and inspected regularly.
And to keep a screen in front to keep embers from getting inside your living room and starting another fire.


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