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The American Red Cross shares how to prepare for severe weather



TOPEKA, Kan. -The Red Cross has responded to nearly 300 house fires this year in Kansas and Oklahoma alone. With colder than usual temperatures coming our way–they want to remind us what to do when trying to keep warm.

When temperatures drop–it is very common that people bring out space heaters for quick heat.

But–it’s not the safest solution.

“Usually when we see temperatures drop this low people resort to space heaters and during this time of year we see a big jump in house fires and many of those fires were caused by space heaters that were improperly used,” Executive Director of American Red Cross, Jane Blocher, said.

Make sure the the heater is placed on a leveled ceramic floor –plugged right into the outlet and not with a power strip and make sure it is placed in a secure location.

“Make sure it has plenty of space wherever you put it–keep children and pets, furniture and anything that can burn at least three feet away,” said Blocher.

Red Cross warns people of never using their ovens as a heating source to warm up a house–

“Home heating is the second leading cause of house fires followed by stove top fires and unattended cooking in the kitchen,” Blocher explained.

While bearing through the cold–it’s a good idea to check on your neighbors to make sure they are okay.

“Checking on your neighbors is also critically important especially elderly people who may live alone or have disabilities and have children but with older adults this severe weather can be dangerous to them and also deadly so checking on loved ones is very important when facing cold weather,” she said.