Tulsa Firefighters Preparing For Fire Risks During Colder Months
TULSA, Oklahoma - Firefighters are bracing for a busy weekend as the temperatures tumble. This year has been the deadliest in 5-years for Tulsa Fire.
And that's pretty worrisome since there are still two colder months ahead. When it gets cold, people turn to other, often unsafe forms of heat and time after time that's proven to be deadly.
In January firefighters found two bodies inside a small shed. Crews think bedding was too close to a makeshift heater and this hot plate could have ignited the flames.
Just a couple of weeks later...firefighters say a man sleeping in this car died when it caught fire because of a space heater connected to an extension car.
“That's actually the second fire in that shift where we had a fire involved with a space heater,” said Tulsa Fire Captain Eddie Mangold. "The first one was a home that didn't have any electricity. It was actually running an extension cord from the neighbor’s home into her house."
National research shows space heaters account for 79% of fire deaths caused by heating equipment.
"Anytime the space heater is within three feet of a combustible material, so foam, paper, furniture, fabric, anything that will burn easily, there's a risk for fire," said Tulsa Fire Chief Michael Baker.
Tulsa Fire's EMS Chief says stoves and ovens are also a huge risk for quickly spreading flames.
"Extremely bad idea, in a number of different ways. If the oven is poorly maintained, we have the risk not only of fire, but we have the risk of carbon monoxide," said Baker.
Even the warmth from crackling fireplaces can be dangerous if not used properly.
"You know, this temperature shift that we're going to have is just an indicator of things to come," said Baker.
Tulsa Firefighters say they've handed out 2,200 smoke alarms this year. Be sure to check the batteries in your smoke alarm regularly.