TFD Stresses Safety, Urges Against Alternative Heating Methods
TULSA, Oklahoma - A little more than 24 hours after a woman lost her life because of a make-shift heating source, fire experts are reinforcing safety when it comes to heating your home.
The fire also sent the victim’s granddaughter to the hospital suffering from burns. It's a case local firefighters need your help to avoid.
Fire fighters said the furnace in the home didn't work and the chimney was bricked up. So, people staying there tried to improvise.
"They were trying to heat her house with the stove top and the oven," said Stan May with the Tulsa Fire Department. “Turned all the gas burners on and they set a fan next to it to blow that heat into the living room."
With the coldest temperatures in two years expected in Green Country, that’s a heating method firefighters say no one should do.
May said the fan fell over and knocked a few things down. He said it only took only a moment for the fire to start.
In addition to flames, May said your stove and oven give off carbon monoxide that has no vent out.
“You start feeling tired, sleepy, you don't think as well and pretty soon you are unconscious," he said.
While May said you should not try to improvise a heating source; he also stressed safety with some conventional methods.
"Space heaters, cooking, Christmas trees, candles, any heat source needs to have at least three feet away from it," he said.
Tulsa firefighters believe a space heater caused another fire Thursday morning where something nearby caught fire.
May said, "It can actually heat something up three feet away and catch it on fire."
And candles, he said, need to be on a hard, flat surface.
"We've been having some breaking and falling over, and that's what causes a fire," May said.
He also hopes you keep your Christmas tree watered.
May said, to see if it's safe, “Grab one of the little branches and pull on it, and if you get a bunch of tines come off, it's too dry to be in your house."
If you lose your heating source for whatever reason, and you don't have a safe way to get warm, you can always go to your nearest fire house - they will let you in to stay warm as well as work to find you a temporary place while you get your heat back on.