Fire experts give tips on how to keep you and your family safe

COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) – A house could go up in flames within minutes, and that’s why Fire Marshall Walker explained why it’s so important for early detection.

“We don’t want you to wait until it happens. We want you to already know. Because once that smoke alarm goes off, which is your early detection we want you to get out. And have a place to go, so that once the fire department gets there, we want to make sure that everybody’s out,” said Walker.

The National Fire Protection Association reports about 30% of house fires happen in December, January, or February.

“This is normally due because of the colder months. Everyone’s inside, you have a lot of family together. There’s an increase in cooking. There’s also an increase in alternate means of heating homes,” said Walker.

Columbus Fire Chief Duane Hughes said these are some of the top causes of holiday fires.

Hughes said the use of kerosene heaters, space heaters, and extension cords all add up to increased chances of house fires.

“We always want residents to be mindful of where they place their space heaters. If they’re using alternative means to heat their homes, make sure that they’re careful in their use. If you’re using extension cords, we want to make sure they’re extension cords with surge protectors. And that if they’re worn or frayed, we get rid of those and we get new ones,” said Hughes.

Studies show almost three of every five home fire deaths are a direct result of not having a working smoke alarm.

“If you live within the city of Columbus and you don’t have a working smoke alarm, get in contact with us. And there’s a high possibility we can get you a working smoke alarm in your home at no cost,” said Hughes.

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