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Fire Safety During the Winter Months

During the winter months, Amarillo firefighters see more house fires.
Firefighters say more fatal house fires can happen in the winter months than any other time all year but, they have a few tips to keep you safe.

Amarillo firefighter Jeff Justus says, "the winter months are our busiest months.  We have two fire deaths just a couple of weeks ago. So it's definitely serious."

Justus says heating equipment is one of the leading causes of home fires when it gets cold outside. 

In fact, half of all home heating fires happen in December, January, and February.

Chad Lowe with the Amarillo Fire Department says, "a lot of times the clutter will get on the floor furnaces.  People go to bed and don't realize it and the fire starts in the middle of the night.  And of course that's when you need to have a fire detector because when a fire starts in the middle of the the smoke puts you to sleep, it doesn't wake you up."

Fire officials tell us leaving candles burning is a contributor in our area.

They say it's important at all times to have a plan in case a house fire strikes.

Justus says, "you want to make sure the kids know about fire safety.  You want to make sure they know an escape route to get out of the house.  What to do in case there is a fire, to get low, things like that."

Lowe says, "don't go in for any reason and also have a meeting point."

Officials say people who lose power because of winter storms or holiday decorations that can short out, sometimes turn to alternative heating sources which can be dangerous. 

Lowe says talking with your kids is the most important thing you can do to keep your family safe.

Cooking is another leading cause of home fires and related injuries.

Statistics prove cooking was, by far, the leading cause of all residential building fires and injuries over the past few years.

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