How to stay safe, stay warm this winter, according to experts

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(WEHT)- A day after a pair of fatal fires in Henderson and Owensboro, firefighters and dispatch officials are sounding the alarms as winter stretches on.

After reporting a home that caught fire on Carter Dr. early Saturday morning, Henderson Fire Department official Josh Dixon is urging people to make sure they have working smoke alarms. Dixon says that while ‘99.9 percent of the time, you may not have to ever use it,” it’s the .1 percent of the time where a functional smoke alarm can be the difference between getting out safely and “devastation.”

Dixon says the fire department works with the Red Cross to provide and install smoke alarms for people in Henderson. Dixon says it’s also important to have a plan in place in case of emergency and to make sure a fire extinguisher is available and working.

Firefighters like Daviess County Fire Department Lt. Stephen Szefi say people should make sure their furnaces and chimneys are also in good condition before using them, and to use caution when using space heaters. Szefi says people should not leave them unattended or set them up near curtains or furniture.

Owensboro-Daviess County 9-1-1 Director Paul Nave says chimney fires are more common during the winter, and he says people should get out of the house if they think there’s a fire before calling for help. Nave also says people should not run back into a house to rescue someone. Nave says people should leave rescue operations to the firefighters.

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