Home fire safety tips for winter - ABC FOX Montana Local News, Weather, Sports KTMF | KWYB

Home fire safety tips for winter

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MISSOULA -

Every year, more people die from house fires during the winter months than any other time of the year, according to the Missoula Rural Fire District. Firefighters say most of these fires are started by portable space heaters, fireplaces and candles.

The common mistake is that they are left unattended or forgotten.

Missoula Rural Fire District firefighters at station 5 understand the need to stay warm during winter. But firefighter Max Kottwitz urges homeowners to use caution when heating their home. Keep portable space heaters at least three feet away from anything else.

"Make sure to have that 3 foot parameter around," Kottwitz said. "No flammable objects near or around it. Make sure it's on the ground on a flat surface. As far as candles, a lot of people they tend to just forget about them."

He said people should routinely clean their fireplace and perform monthly maintenance on smoke detectors.

"Make sure they are on every level of your home. In every bedroom and outside of each sleeping space,” he said.

Kottwitz says in Missoula, fireplaces have been the number one cause of house fires. Nationwide, cooking equipment and space heaters are also major contributors.

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