Fire safety urged as temps plunge again

By Denise Jackson

January 17, 2013 Updated Jan 18, 2013 at 12:14 PM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- Temperatures are expected to drop down into the teens this coming weekend and Peoria Fire Department officials are warning residents about safety and prevention as they try to stay warm.

House fires occur more often during colder weather as people try to stay warm. Peoria fire officials say they have seen a decrease in fires from 11 to eight over the past year but they are reminding residents about safety as temperatures plunge over the next week.

"You don't really want to use extension cords with space heaters and plug it directly into the outlet. You want to give space heaters space," said Peoria Fire Department Division Chief Phil Maclin.

Maclin says space heaters should have three feet of clearance. He also says stoves should not be used to heat your home or apartment, and adds that batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors should be checked monthly.

In addition, Maclin says every family should have a fire safety escape plan.

"It's good to have a smoke detector but have a plan that you have devised with your family in case there's a fire in the home, in the evening hours or night time hours. You want to have an escape route," he said.

The Peoria Fire Department will provide the smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors to residents who meet income requirements. For more information call 494-8700.

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