Keeping you safe: Tips to prevent fires at your home - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Keeping you safe: Tips to prevent fires at your home

By Cory Stark – bio |email |twitter | Facebook

WEST CHESTER, OH (FOX19) - Within the last 24-hours, two fatal fires have accounted for four deaths, including four-year-old twin sisters.

West Chester Fire Chief Tony Goller said, "The first thing we think about in this business is how could we have prevented that, and why did it happen."

Both fatal fires are still under investigation, but fire marshals said the fire in Ludlow that took three people's lives could have been prevented.

"You should never use space heaters as a primary source to heat your house," said Rick Prinz, West Chester Assistant Fire Chief.  

Other tips to keep in mind while using a space heater:

  • Plug in the unit directly into the wall outlet, never into an extension cord.
  • Make sure the heater is either FM or UL tested, which will be labeled on the unit. This means the unit has been tested and is safe to use.
  • Make sure the unit has an automatic shut off feature, if it is knocked over.
  • Turn the unit off if it is not being used.
  • The most important line of defense to keep your family safe -smoke detectors.

"Most of the cases you find out that smoke detectors were taken out of the house or they didn't have the batteries in them for some reason or the batteries were dead in them," said Chief Goller.  

Officials say smoke detectors should be tested every month and batteries should be changed every six months. The actual smoke detector unit should be replaced every 7-10 years.

"Because the failure rate is up to as high as 80 percent after that time," said Goller. "Most people don't realize you have to replace those."

Officials say there should be at least one smoke detector for every level of your home. It is also recommended that a detector is put in every bedroom of your home.

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