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Former Tallahassee firefighter shares home safety tips for National Fire Prevention week

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Posted at 3:10 PM, Oct 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-07 16:56:06-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — As temperatures drop the risk of home fires increases.

Space heaters are involved with two out of every five house fires and account for 84 percent of civilian deaths.

What typically leads to that ignition is heating equipment being too close to things that can burn like clothes, furniture, or a mattress.

“Another thing we see is people don’t pay attention to how many things are plugged into an outlet,” said former Tallahassee firefighter Ruben Rodriguez. “Or they get a power strip and they really bog it down. Space heaters pull quite a bit. So sometimes that can challenge a home electrical system as well.”

Cooking is the number one cause of home fires and home fire injuries.

Those incidents are usually the result of starting to cook or grill food then walking away and leaving it on too long. That’s important to keep in mind before having a backyard BBQ.

“So basically, you want to make sure that your equipment is clean and well kept,” said Rodriguez, who is now an Emergency Recovery Coordinator with Paul Davis Restoration. “The biggest danger is you don’t want those flames to get back in that propane tank. You want to make sure that those fittings are tight, and those hoses are in good working condition. With time grills tend to deteriorate and that can always cause issues.”

Rodriguez also says check with your local ordinance before having that back yard bonfire. Plus always make sure you have a water source nearby.