Lower Temperatures Mean Higher Number of Fires - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Lower Temperatures Mean Higher Number of Fires

Space heaters account for several recent fires



    As the temperatures drop, the number of house and apartment fires goes up.

    Whether it's an abandoned building, a home or an apartment complex, it's that time of year where fires are caused by occupants trying to keep warm.

    In the last week Fort Worth Fire says it has responded to three or four calls where space heaters led to a fire in a house or apartment.

    "As the weather turns cold, people start using various devices to heat their homes and when they do that they're either not using safety precautions or there are some maintenance issues," said Tim Hardeman, FWFD engineer.

    More Fires Reported as Temps Turn Colder

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    Hardeman says people should follow manufacturer's warning labels about keeping space heaters clear from debris and should have furnaces checked out before use in the winter.

    In the most recent fires over the last week, there has been one fatality and two injuries. Hardeman also says many fires have one key thing missing to preventing injuries and death, smoke detectors.

    "Several of the fires we've had recently, either smoke detectors weren't found or they weren't working in the homes where the fires occurred," Hardeman said.

    In October, FWFD kicked off a campaign where firefighters will install one smoke detector in each house. Hardeman says they won't prevent fires, but they could help save a life because these fires will unfortunately keep happening until the weather warms up.

    "We just hope people take heed of this message and keep themselves and their loved ones safe," Hardeman said.

    Another source of winter fires is homeless people setting fires in vacant buildings, which Fort Worth Fire says they've seen several examples of as well in recent weeks.