Safety tips to avoid house fires during winter months

WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) During the winter months, fire officials are reminding you to be cautious of things in your homes that could spark a fire.

Deputy Fire Chief Stuart Bevis says most space heaters and heated blankets are relatively safe to use.

The cause of the fires is usually electrical-related from not using the devices properly.

Firefighters encourage you to check wiring especially in older homes or homes with poor insulation. If you're using heaters or space blankets, don't plug them into a power strip or extension cord.

"If you're in an older home with older electrical services. These draw a lot of energy and can lead to issues in the electrical system of the home, especially running through the attic," Bevis said.

If a breaker trips when you plug it in, that is an indicator that the wiring can't handle the amount of power it needs so don't keep trying to turn it on.

During this time of year, firefighters are worried about carbon monoxide poisoning. Most people have fuel-burning systems in their home, whether it's a furnace, hot water heater, or generator.

"If it's something that is burning fuel, like a natural gas or propane, it has a way to ventilate and it's been checked," Bevis said. "That is one of our big concerns during this time of year as well."

Firefighters say it's important to have carbon monoxide detectors on each level of your home to prevent getting sick from those emissions.