While burglar and security bars on windows and doors may make homeowners feel safer, they can also be dangerous when there's a fire, according to the Oklahoma City Fire Department.
The fire department is warning residents with burglar bars to be careful, because those same bars that provide a barrier against crime can also be an obstacle when trying to escape from a fire. It can also hinder firefighters trying to help citizens.
The warning comes after an 84-year-old, wheelchair-bound man died in a house fire on December 18 in northeast Oklahoma City. Neighbors told firefighters they tried to get the man out of the house, but could not because of the burglar bars on the windows and doors of his home.
The Oklahoma City Fire Department encourages homeowners who have or are considering installing burglar bars to make sure they are equipped with an emergency release device. The department also offers the following fire safety tips: