Tips on how to prevent fires during the winter - KULR8.com | News, Weather & Sports in Billings, Montana

Tips on how to prevent fires during the winter

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BILLINGS, Mont. -

We still have a few weeks to go before winter officially ends. The Billings Fire Department is still seeing structure fires, with the most recent one occurring Tuesday morning.

A family lost everything in an apartment fire on 22nd street. The fire started after a wall heater ignited in the apartment's utility closet. The family escaped with minor injuries, but the fire did cause around $35,000 dollars worth of damage.

With so many recent winter fires, KULR-8 asked the Billings Fire Department what we can do to heat our homes, but stay fire-free.
Battalion Chief Ed Regele said during the Winter, one of the most common household items that causes fires are space heaters.

Battalion Chief Regele said every winter the fire department has problems with space heaters being too close to combustibles. He said the national recommendation is to keep objects at a distance of 3 feet from space heaters. This includes blankets, boxes, or drapes. He also said cooking fires in homes are still the number one cause year round for home fires.

He explained what else people can do to prevent winter fires.

"Every winter, we see several different house fires or apartment fires caused by something to do with trying to stay warm in the winter," Regele said. "Always have a working carbon monoxide and smoke detector. Their heating appliances and typical furnaces will put off carbon monoxide in the winter time. Houses are shut tight so it's good to make sure you have a working carbon monoxide detector as well as a smoke detector. Always have an escape plan."

Regele said 1 in 7 house fires are caused by space heaters nationwide.

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