Tips to prevent home fires this holiday season - WRBL

Tips to prevent home fires this holiday season

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COLUMBUS, Ga. -

This year alone, Georgia has already had 15 deaths related to cooking. Across the United States, there are more than 26,000 electrical fires at homes each year. We're on your side with how to protect yourself and your home this holiday season.

If they haven't already, many homeowners will soon be turning on their heaters or furnaces as the temperatures continue to drop, but this can potentially cause a fire in the home if homeowners do not take the necessary precautions.

As fire trucks and ambulances head to emergency situations, there are some precautions you should take to make sure the next stop isn't your home. Sergeant Brad Jordan at the Columbus Fire Department said around the winter months they see more fires related to heaters, furnaces, and cooking.

"If you're turning on your heat or your furnace for the 1st time when it gets cold, always make sure it's working properly and if you don't know if it's working properly always call an expert or certified technician or what not," said Sgt. Brad Jordan at Columbus Fire and EMS.

And when you're in the kitchen cooking with grease, "If you do have a grease fire in your house, the thing most people want to do is throw water on it because that's how you put out a fire but that will not work. It will make it worse," said Sgt. Jordan. 

You should either cover the fire with a lid or if it's safe, take the pan outside. Jordan said you should not hesitate to call the fire department if a problem arises in your home.

"We can always come out and we'd rather be safe than sorry if you called us," said Jordan.

For those of you who have your own fire extinguisher, Columbus Fire and Safety said you should make sure it's working properly.

"It gives them an assurance that the extinguisher is working and ready to use," said Frank Middleton, service manager at Columbus Fire and Safety.

And Jordan has one piece of advice to keep your home safe during the holiday season, "Moderation I guess is key," said Jordan.

If you have a live Christmas tree, make sure it stays watered because if it gets too dry it could catch fire more easily.

Also as you start to put up your Christmas lights, make sure to use surge protectors or power strips that have internal overload protection.

Naomi Keitt

Naomi Keitt focuses on education reporting for WRBL News 3. More>>

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