Oxendine offers home heating safety tips

By Lora Chance - email

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - As temperatures drop, heating systems will kick into high gear. Unfortunately, some of those sources that keep us warm and are also a threat.

Georgia Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner John W. Oxendine said heating equipment is a leading cause of home fires during the winter months.

"Most of our fire deaths occur in the cold winter months," said Oxendine. "Be careful with the space heaters. One of the easiest ways to die is trying to stay warm."

Oxendine said you should place all space heaters at least five feet away from furniture, walls, curtains or anything else that burns. He also stressed the importance of smoke detectors.

"A working smoke detector is your number one defense against a home fire," said Oxendine. "It gets you out early."

Smoke detector batteries should be changed every 6 months. Families should also have an escape plan.

"The number one thing is to do a family fire drill," said Oxendine.

He said you should draw a floor plan of their home and make sure every family member knows at least two ways out of each room.

For more tips on reducing the risk of fire in your home this winter, visit http://www.gainsurance.org/ConsumerService/SafetyTips-Winter.aspx.

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