When temperatures cool down, risk of fire heats up
BATON ROUGE - Fire officials are asking everyone to check their heaters and fire places before using them this season. It comes after a fire in Baton Rouge left a family of six homeless over the weekend.
The St. George Fire Department responded to the fire in University Club on Saturday. They say blaze grew so large, they had to call the Baton Rouge Fire Department to help extinguish it.
As temperatures continue to cool, more people will begin running their heaters and fireplaces. When using space heaters, keep a clearing of 3 ft. around the heater in every direction, keep it away from walls and remember to turn it off when you leave the room.
Fire officials also want to remind you never to use your oven to heat your home and to test your smoke alarm monthly. Firefighters say you should clean out your fireplace before you fire it up. Failure to clean heating equipment is the leading cause of home heating fires.
"Houses today burn faster than they did 20, 30, 40 years ago because of the construction materials," said Office Eldon Ledoux of the St. George Fire Department.
Officer Ledoux also recommends getting your fireplace cleaned professionally once a year. You should also have a sturdy screen in front of it to contain sparks. Half of all home heating fires in the United States occur between December and February, so now is the time to clean the chimney and brush up on heater safety.
The cause of the fire over the weekend is still under investigation.
Watch the video for more information.