Red Cross advises safe heating in winter | Free content

As temperatures drop in the Mile High area, the Mile High Chapter of the American Red Cross urges everyone to heat their homes safely by following critical steps to avoid a home fire.

Heating equipment is the leading cause of home fire deaths, with most from space heaters. Last year, volunteers responded to more than 180 residential fires in the Mile High area and assisted nearly 830 people. Overall, home fires account for most of the more than 60,000 disasters the Red Cross responds to each year in the United States — where responses to home fires are 23% higher during cold months than during warmer times. heat of the year.

“Colder temperatures often bring an increased risk of home fires, which are the most common disaster in our country,” said Gino Greco, executive director of the American Red Cross in Colorado and Wyoming. “Help keep your family safe by providing at least three feet of space for all heating equipment, testing your smoke detectors monthly, and practicing your home fire escape plan by 2 minutes.”

How to heat your home safely

Follow these safety tips and visit for more information, including an escape plan to practice with your family. You can also download the free Red Cross emergency app by searching “American Red Cross” in app stores.

• Keep children, pets and anything that can burn at least 3 feet from heating equipment.

• If you must use a space heater, never leave it unattended. Place it on a flat, hard, non-flammable surface, such as ceramic tile flooring. Do not place it on rugs and carpets, or near bedding and curtains.

• Plug heater power cords directly into outlets—never into an extension cord. Turn off the heater whenever you leave the room or go to sleep.

• Never use a stove or oven to heat your home.

• Never leave a fire burning in the fireplace unattended. Make sure the embers in the fireplace are extinguished before you go to bed or leave the house. Use a glass or metal screen to keep embers in the firebox.

• Have furnaces, chimneys, fireplaces, wood and coal stoves inspected annually by a professional and cleaned if necessary.

If you need help

If you cannot afford smoke alarms or are physically unable to install one, the Red Cross may be able to help. Contact your local Red Cross for help.

House fire campaign saves lives

Since October 2014, the Red Cross Home Fire Campaign with community partners has saved at least 450 lives, including eight in Colorado and Wyoming, by educating families about fire safety, helping them create evacuation plans and installing more than 2.4 million free smoke alarms in high-risk neighborhoods across the country. Visit for more information.

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and comforts disaster victims; provides about 40% of the nation’s blood; teaches life-saving skills; distributes international humanitarian aid; and supports veterans, service members and their families.

The Red Cross is a nonprofit organization that depends on the volunteers and generosity of the American public to carry out its mission. For more information, please visit or, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

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