SC Fire Marshal offers safety tips during winter weather - FOX Carolina 21

SC Fire Marshal offers safety tips during winter weather

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(FOX Carolina) -

With winter weather approaching, the South Carolina Fire Marshal urges citizens to be safe.

State Fire Marshal Bert Polk said more house fires occur during the winter months than any other time of the year.

“In our state, during last year’s winter months, there were 21 fatal fires resulting in 46 fire deaths. Our records indicate just about a third of those fatalities were heating related,” Polk said.

According to fire officials, South Carolinians can reduce their risks of becoming a fire casualty by following these safety tips:

  • Only use kerosene heaters and space heaters according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Inspect the heater for cracked or broken plugs. If frayed, worn, or damaged, do not use the heater.
  • Never leave a heater unattended. Turn it off when leaving a room.
  • Don’t let pets or children play too close to heaters.
  • Keep the unit on a flat surface at least three feet away from anything that can burn.
  • Always plug the space heater directly into the wall. Don’t use an extension cord or power strip.
  • Be careful when using candles. Never use if oxygen is used in the home.
  • Have flashlights ready to use in case of a power outage.
  • Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room.
  • Do not use the kitchen oven to heat the home.
  • Smoke alarms should be installed on every level of the home and inside and outside sleeping areas.

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