American Red Cross officials share tips to prevent house fires

Dec 10, 2013

The American Red Cross has responded to 17 house fires in Nebraska and southwest Iowa since last Friday.

Five of those fires were Monday evening and affected families in Central City, Wood River, Beemer, Overton, and Kearney.

American Red Cross Nebraska/southwest Iowa spokeswoman Liz Dorland says one way you can prevent fires is to use space heaters safely.

"Keep those space heaters a good distance away from furniture, at least three feet away from furniture. You want to make sure it’s on a level field, something that is non-flammable, like a ceramic tile floor, not on carpets or rugs or near bedding, or anything like that."

Dorland says you should have your home’s chimney cleaned and checked before starting a fire in a fireplace. Another safety tip is to avoid using your oven or stove to heat your home.

The National Fire Prevention Association says Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day are the top three days for fires caused by cooking.