TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) – Fall is a favorite season for a lot of people, but with all of the fun things, it brings it also comes with an increased risk of house fires.
As temperatures drop, people turn to various ways of keeping warm.
Bon-fires, fireplaces and space heaters are great heating sources, but options that can be potentially dangerous.
“Leaves are falling off the trees. Trees are getting a little dryer,” Norm Loudermilk, Terre Haute Arson Investigator said. “So you know it just kind of makes for what could be a potentially bad situation,”
As a firefighter, Loudermilk has seen how even the smallest spark from a bonfire or cigarette can cause a pile of dry leaves to go up in flames.
But, there are some simple things you can do to keep you and your family safe.
He says you should never park your car over a pile of leaves. The heat from your car’s engine could cause the dry leaves to combust resulting in a car fire.
He said you should also check your chimney before lighting your fireplace for the first time.
Birds can build nests, or other animals can be in there that could cause a house fire.
Loudermilk says one of the biggest causes of house fires is because of fireplaces.
“Fireplaces have the occasion to catch fires regularly,” Loudermilk said.
Cory Orndorff says there are just two things that are the most important for him in keeping safe.
“We have the alarm set up so we know if there is a fire to get out,” Orndorff said. “Have a plan of escape if something does happen.”
Loudermilk says to make sure you check your fire detector every month and change the batteries twice a year.
“I think common sense is the biggest thing that you need to use any time of the year,” he said. “Especially in a cold weather state like Indiana in the fall.”