How To Stay Safe While Heating Your Home

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) -- On average someone in the United States dies in a fire every two hours. Someone is injured every 30 minutes. Although the number of fatalities and injuries caused by residential fires has declined in recent years... Region Eight fire officials say many are still preventable.

With the days getting cooler and the leaves changing color, signs of fall are all around....

"We have more fires in the winter time than in any other time of the year," said Eric Simmons from the Jonesboro Fire Department.

Many of us are turning on the heat in our homes for the first time, but not heating your home properly could be a hazard. For example if you use a space heater, be mindful of what's around it.

"Don't let anything get within three feet of it whether it is toys, clothes, bedding, anything like that," said Simmons.

Using small heaters, may save you some cash, but if used improperly, they could cost you much more in the long run.

"The older ones don't have a safety. What happens is that they tip over. The carpet or whatever  is underneath it can catch on fire. They put them up close to the bed and then the next thing you know it catches the blankets on fire or the whole bed on fire and then you're right there with it," said Simmons.

Eric Simmons with the Jonesboro Fire Department says it's not a good idea to heat your home with a kitchen oven or stove for the same reason...flammable items getting too close to a heat source. Also, if you plan on using your fireplace this winter, make sure your chimney or flue is fire ready.

"If those things are stopped up then those gases are still coming back in on you. It could catch fire from that because it's not letting any of the heat out," said Simmons.

It's the season for decorations, which could include candles.....while they may look good, exercise extreme caution when they're lit.

"If you back into them or you get your clothes too close to them you can catch on fire and then have a fire in your home. The nice thing to do is keep them up high where children can't get to them....if you're going to use them. It would be best not to use them if there's a way to get around it,"said Simmons.

Of course, a working smoke detector is also a key factor when talking about fire safety. The JFD will give you a smoke detector and battery, and even place it where it no cost.

We also have a link offering more tips on fire safety...just find this story on our website at