OXFORD, Ala. (WIAT) — With temperatures beginning to drop, first responders are encouraging fire safety for homeowners, while other community members are gearing up to help the homeless stay warm.
First responders at the Oxford Fire Department tells CBS 42 house fires tend to increase between the fall and winter months since more people are indoors. That’s why it’s important to check those space heaters and fire alarms to help prevent a fire.
As the temperatures begin to drop responders are on high alert.
“Half of all house fires occur during the next three months, so we just want to make sure people have the necessary information to be as safe as they can,” said Eric Lamons, a firefighter with the Oxford Fire Department.
Lamons says one in seven home fires and one in five home fire deaths involve a heating device.
“Any type of heating, whether it be a fireplace or space heater you don’t want anything three feet of it and you want to make sure you don’t plug more than one heating device into one outlet,” said Lamons.
Another rule of thumb is to check the batteries on your carbon monoxide and smoke detectors every six months.
“We recommend changing the battery out every time time changes, so right now if you haven’t changed your batteries since the time change it would be a good time to change the batteries in your smoke detector as we get ready for these winter months,” said Lamons.
As freezing temperatures are hitting the city of Anniston, a group of volunteers is helping those who may not have a home escape the cold.
“We’re going to be open starting at 5 o’clock today and we will be open until 7 a.m. Wednesday morning,” said Diane Smith, with the Carver warming station.
Smith has been a volunteer with the Carver warming station for eight years. She helps provide those in need with a meal and a warm place to lay their head.
“Any type of addiction or anything involved you always worry about somebody passing out and laying in the cold all night, so we just want to help protect them,” said Smith.
From volunteers, city leaders and first responders, it’s a team effort to help protect the community as winter moves in.
“The community steps up and it’s a real blessing,” said Smith.
“We’re doing our part and we just ask that you do your part, just to stay safe during these winter months,” said Lamons.
The fire department is also putting out a reminder for people to be cautious while celebrating as Thanksgiving Day is the leading day for home cooking fires.