(WTVM) – House fires have increased due to the cold weather, and the Red Cross is offering tips to prevent fires from happening in the home.
According to the Red Cross, by Jan. 9 volunteers nationwide had already responded to 3,150 home fires.
Some of this may be attributed to the recent string of dangerously cold days, as colder temperatures are often linked to a rise in home fires.
Heating, holiday decorations, winter storms and candles all contribute to an increased risk of fire during the winter months, according to the National Fire Protection Association and the U.S. Fire Administration.
"Home fires are devastating for the people involved and, far too often, result in deaths and injuries, said Connie Hensler, Executive Director, American Red Cross of Central Midwest Georgia.
The Red Cross is offering the following tips to help prevent a fire in their home:
- Keep all potential sources of fuel - paper, clothing, bedding, curtains or rugs - at least three feet away from sources of heat.
- Never leave portable heaters and fireplaces unattended.
- Place space heaters on a level, hard and nonflammable surface. Keep children and pets away from space heaters. Look for models that shut off automatically if the heater falls over.
- Never use a cooking range or oven to heat your home.
- Keep fire in your fireplace by using a glass or metal fire screen.
To donate or volunteer at the Red Cross click here.