Allentown
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Scattered Clouds

Indoor fire chances go up as outdoor temps go down

By Catherine Hawley, Reporter, news@wfmz.com
Published On: Oct 28 2013 03:59:38 PM CDT
Updated On: Oct 28 2013 04:22:50 PM CDT

As the temperatures drop outside, the chances for a fire inside go up.

In the colder months, heating, lighting and cooking all increase dramatically, and so does the risk of residential fires. 

Capt. John Christopher, Allentown Fire Dept., said firefighters always get calls this time of year when folks are cranking the heat for the first time.

"We will have some fires this year due to heating," Christopher said.

You should have your chimney or your furnace serviced each year and use caution when using space heaters and wood burning stoves to keep warm, Christopher said.

"We refer to it as a halo," Christopher explained. "We want three feet on all sides."

It's also important to plug them directly into an outlet.

"If it cools the room, or if it warms the room, we don't want it into an extension cord or a power strip," added Christopher.

When you start decorating for the holidays, make sure your extension cords aren't covered. You should also keep candles away from combustibles. 

Family and friends tend to gather in the kitchen, but that room can actually be the most hazardous in the house. Careless use of kitchen equipment, like the oven or stove-top, is the leading cause of home fires in the U.S.

"It's always the same," shared Christopher.  "It's someone left the food unattended on the stove."

The most important thing you can do, Christopher said, is invest in carbon monoxide and smoke detectors today because tomorrow could be too late.