Firefighters, Red Cross warn of fire dangers with cold weather approaching
OKLAHOMA CITY — Temperatures will start to dip across Oklahoma on Tuesday. The National Weather Service has issued a freeze warning starting Tuesday evening. With that in mind, officials are promoting heating safety."With the cold weather coming on, we do expect a lot of people in their homes to start firing up their heaters," Oklahoma City Fire Battalion Chief Tommy Iago said.He said heaters are one of the leading causes of carbon monoxide poisoning, which could be deadly."We recommend that you at least check your filter, and if you have any questions just call a professional and they can come out and service your heating unit," he said.But gas is not the only danger."We do tend to see an uptick in house fires when it comes to the cold weather," Ken Garcia said.Garcia is the spokesperson for Red Cross of Central and Western Oklahoma. He said space heaters pose one of the biggest dangers during cold months."If you've ever used them you look inside you see the coils are turning bright red. That's a hot source there," he said.The Red Cross recommends keeping space heaters on a hard floor and never on carpet. The fire department says there should be at least three feet of clear space all the way around them. And both stress the importance of one simple tool."Those smoke detectors save lives. It may be the most annoying sound in the world but it will be the most annoying sound you've ever wanted to hear if a house fire were to break out," Garcia said.Garcia said you should also be aware of the symptoms of hypothermia. Those are turning red of pale, shivering, or in extreme cases inability to shiver."If you're going to be outside try to limit how long you're going to be out there, especially because it's supposed to be pretty cold with the wind chill," Garcia said.
For more safety tips from the Red Cross, click here.