Over the weekend, the American Red Cross helped 48 people impacted by 16 house fires. With temperatures dropping this time of year, volunteers said they tend to see an increase in structure fires.
The fires impacted families in Durant, Quapaw, Weleetka, Twin Hills, Mannford, Muskogee, McAlester, Owasso, Kingston, Stillwell, Hulbert, Oklahoma City, Woodward and Okmulgee.
These incidents happened from Halloween to Nov. 2.
Red Cross volunteers took the weekend's influx of fires as an opportunity to remind residents to follow safety tips.
- Keep items that can catch on fire at least three feet away from anything that gets hot, such as space heaters.
- Never smoke in bed.
- Talk to children regularly about the dangers of fire, matches and lighters and keep them out of reach.
Many fires begin on or around the kitchen stove. People should remain in the kitchen when frying, grilling or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove. Other cooking safety steps include:
- Stay in the home while simmering, baking, roasting or boiling food.
- Check it regularly and use a timer to remind you that food is cooking.
- Keep anything that can catch fire—like pot holders, towels, plastic and clothing— away from the stove. Install carbon monoxide and smoke alarms on every level of the home and outside sleeping areas.
- If the carbon monoxide alarm sounds, move quickly to a fresh air location outdoors or by an open window or door.
- Never use a generator, grill, camp stove or other gasoline, propane, natural gas or charcoal-burning devices inside a home, garage, basement, crawlspace or any partially enclosed area.
- Check monthly that smoke alarms are working properly by pushing the test button.
- Replace batteries in smoke alarms at least once a year. Replace smoke alarms every ten years.