Officials advise on fire safety during winter

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - It is our instinct to try to stay warm when the weather is cold.  But, our technology for keeping warm isn't always safe. We've seen several fires already this winter in East Baton Rouge. East Baton Rouge Fire Department's Robert Combs said there are many reasons why house fires happen.

"Christmas trees being one of them," said Combs. "There are still a bunch of decorations that have not been taken down. Trees are starting to become brittle and dry, so if you have an open flame anywhere near, it is possible that it will catch fire," he continued.

A deadly fire in Houma, La happened on Christmas morning, and took three lives. Fire officials said a space heater is responsible. According to heating equipment is involved in one in every seven reported home fires, and one in every six home fire deaths.

State Fire Marshal Butch Browning stressed if you're using one, make sure you turn it off.

"We typically remind people don't use them while they are sleeping. This family was actually sleeping when the space heater was being used. I understand it's cold, but when things get out of control real quickly, people wake up to situations that they can't get back in to control," said Browning.

Also make sure you're staying warm, but also staying safe, by only using one heating appliance in an electrical outlet.

Copyright 2014 WAFB. All rights reserved.