Pennsylvania – There have been a large number of fires in our area in just the past few days.

Although overall fires generally decrease during the winter because there are fewer brush fires and outdoor fires, there are more structural fires due to people heating their homes.

FEMA has the full statistics and report.

Home heating safety tips:

Keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from heating equipment, such as your furnace, fireplace, wood stove, or portable space heater. Do not use rugs or carpeting near heating equipment, and don’t place any portable heaters near walls.

Have a qualified professional install heating equipment, water heaters, furnaces, or central heating.

Make sure your fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room.

Never leave a space heater unattended. If you are leaving the room or going to bed, turn it off.

Have at least one smoke alarm on each floor of your house, plus in the kitchen and each bedroom. Test the smoke alarms each month, and consider getting a combination smoke and carbon monoxide alarm.

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