Red Cross: Heat homes the safe way as cold weather moves in

MICHIGAN — The colder weather is making its return to Michigan, which means the heat is back on.

The American Red Cross recently published steps on its website, informing people how to safely keep their homes warm as the cooler temperatures move in.

People should take in account the following home heating tips:

• Furnaces, chimneys, fireplaces, wood and coal stoves should be inspected and cleaned before use;

• If using a space heater, look for a model that shuts off automatically if the heater falls over. Place the heater on a level, hard and nonflammable surface in the home;

• Keep all potential sources of fuel like paper, clothing, bedding, curtains or rugs at least three feet away from space heaters, stoves, or fireplaces;

• Portable heaters and fireplaces should never be left unattended. Turn off space heaters and make sure any embers in the fireplace are extinguished before going to bed or leaving home;

• Keep children and pets away from space heaters;

• Cut down on heating costs. Insulate the home by installing storm windows or covering the inside of windows with plastic to keep cold air out;

• Never use a cooking range or oven to heat your home; and

• Develop a fire escape plan.

On average, seven people die each day from home fires.

The Red Cross is working with community partners to reduce fire-related deaths and injuries by installing free smoke alarms, helping families create home fire escape plans, and providing public fire prevention and safety resources through its Home Fire Campaign.

Since the campaign began in October 2014, it’s reached more than 1.6 million people and is credited with saving 472 lives nationwide.

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Posted by Ashlyn Korienek

Ashlyn is the cops & courts and city reporter for the Manistee News Advocate. You can reach her at (231) 398-3109 or akorienek@pioneergroup.com

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