Nichole Hannahs

Caution When Using Alternative Heating Sources

by Nichole Hannahs on January 23, 2013 at 6:41 am

Cold temperatures have many cranking up the heat.

Some may even turn to alternative heating sources such as electric or kerosene heaters or wood burning stoves. The Red Cross said that they haven’t been called to many fires lately and hope that people are getting the message to be careful when using these heating sources.

"Keep everything 3ft or more away from clothing, blankets, pets, papers and put in on a hard surface, like a piece of tile or something," said AmeriCorps Disaster Educator Martha Staley. "Don’t put in on a rug or carpet and turn those off at all possible when you go to bed or leave the house."

Staley also suggests that if you’re buying a heater to get one with a safety shut off and read the directions before using it. In case of a fire it’s important that everyone has a plan.

Staley speaks to school groups and organizations about being prepared and offers this advice, "We take a simple sheet of paper and make a floor plan of the child’s house and they’re going to take this home. I tell them to tape it up on the wall. Get after your family, be persistent, let’s have a fire drill, let’s know where that safe place is to meet when we get out of the house and the best advice I have is to get out and stay out."

According to the Red Cross home heating fires are the second leading cause of home fires.