American Red Cross expects more home fires with cold temperature - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

American Red Cross expects more home fires with cold temperatures

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Eau Claire (WQOW) - The American Red Cross said home fire risk increases during cold with people searching for ways to stay warm. 

The Red Cross said no one should use a stove or oven to heat a home. They added those using a space heater should keep it on a hard, level surface at least three feet from anything flammable. 

The non-profit also recommended turning off space heaters and making sure fireplace embers are out before leaving the room or going to bed. Those using fire places should also have a glass or metal screen that can catch sparks and rolling logs. 

"We just need to be more mindful when we are using those heating sources more often," American Red Cross Disaster Program Manager Jenny Legaspi said. "Unfortunately, we tend to have more of those fire incidents. Red Cross gets called to help those displaced individuals. That's just an unfortunate time of the year."

During extreme cold, Red Cross said it is also important to have an emergency kit at home in case of a power outage. The kit could include a blanket, flashlight, first aid kit, nonperishable food, and water. 

"That is a pretty typical disaster kit for your home, but when you are traveling, even just for an hour drive, when it is this cold, you want to make sure you have your supply kit in your vehicle as well," Legaspi said.

The Red Cross said if kits are already packed, they should be checked to make sure batteries still work, first aid kits are still stocked, and fresh water is brought to the car so it doesn't freeze. 

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