Crossroads area residents have experienced several days of frigid cold temperatures and winter weather with more to come.

With the increased use of space heaters and other ways to stay warm inside homes, the Corinth Fire Department is reaching out with fire safety tips.

“During the winter, and when the weather gets extremely cold, there is an increase in home fires,” said Training Officer Jerry Whirley. “A fire can take a home in as little as two minutes. Therefore, escaping in less than two minutes can be the difference between survival and tragedy.”

Whirley shared two steps to preventing fire tragedies with the Daily Corinthian.

“To help protect families year-round, testing smoke alarms monthly and practicing the home fire escape plan until everyone can escape in less than two minutes is best,” he said. “If the power goes out, try to use battery operated candles and flashlights. If real candles must be used, never leave the room that they are burning in and never go to sleep while they are burning.”

Generators can also cause fires, and Whirley said those should always be used outdoors.

“In a garage is not outdoors,” he added.

Carbon Monoxide can always be a threat during colder weather as it is odorless and tasteless.

“Those who must use a space heater should be sure to place it on a level, hard and nonflammable surface, such as a ceramic tile floor,” said Whirley. “Don’t place it on rugs and carpets, or near bedding and drapes – and always keep away from children and pets.”

Space heater power cords should be plugged directly into outlets – never into an extension cord, and the heater should never be left turned on in a room alone.

It is also a good idea to always keep all flammable materials at least three feet from any device that produces heat, according to Whirley.

Staff Writer

Zack Steen was first hired in 1999 as a junior in high school to work in the Daily Corinthian design department. After several years away, he returned in 2014 as staff writer. He's married to the love of his life Brandy and they have 5 wonderful fur-kids.

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