Protect Yourself: House fires go on the rise as temperatures drop

VIDEO: Home fires go on rise when temperatures dip

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The days are getting shorter and the temperatures are getting colder, as many people across the Lowcountry go to turn their heat on, there's some things everyone needs to be aware of.

This is the time of year when the number of house fires go up, often times caused by alternate heating methods, the American Red Cross said.

"As the temperatures drop we always see an uptick in the number of home fires we respond to. Heating is actually one of the leading causes of death by home fire," Jennifer Hiesler with the American Red Cross said.

Nearly half of the households in the country use alternate heating sources such as space heaters.

Fixed and portable space heaters are involved in 74 percent of fire-related deaths.

Heisler said house fires are are the most common disaster in the United states and the South Carolina Red Cross responds to one an average of six times a day.

Something else people need to be sure and follow safety measures with are their chimney's.

"Have your chimneys checked not only for safety but to make sure you don't' have any access from animals or leaks. But the man thing is safety because if the soot builds up it can cause a fire," Chris Young with Ashbusters said.

He said 3 out of 6 chimney fires shouldn't be burning because of repairs the owner doesn't know about.

"It's very unsafe you should have chimney checked and swept once a year if nothing else just fire safety inside and on top. A fire can happen that quick and they say 50% of house fires are from chimney fires," Young said.

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