BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Louisiana is finally getting some cooler weather, and professionals are reminding people of some steps to keep their families safe.
Curt Monte with the Baton Rouge Fire Department says one of the most common causes of fires around this time comes from people trying to stay warm.
“We do see a lot of carelessness with heaters, whether it be space heaters or not having your heater properly checked,” said Monte.
He says this has been one of the busiest years of his career, with 71 house fire-related deaths statewide, already up from 64 last year.
“First and foremost, have working smoke detectors in your home, you want them on every level of the home. Have those heating systems checked before you turn them on by a professional, same thing with a fireplace or chimney, you want it cleaned of debris, make sure it checked for no cracks,” said Monte.
As the cold weather approaches, there are number of things families can do to stay safe: check smoke detectors, have an escape route for the family, and have an annual inspection of central air and heating units. A-1 Air Conditioning let us join them for one of their inspections, which usually takes around 30 minutes to one hour. Inspector, Jared Hebert, says even homes with newer units should consider checks every year to keep families safe.
“Most of your newer units have a lot of safeties on them, but then again, we’re here to check and make sure those safeties are operating as they should. You know, all it takes is a safety or two to quit working and fail on you and there is always that possibility,” said Hebert.
Now is also a great time to discuss a fire escape route with your family if you haven’t already. These are just a few things to put on the to do list to not only keep your family warm, but safe as well.