Home heating hazards broken down after candle sets Louisville home ablaze

Home heating hazards broken down after candle sets Louisville home ablaze
A house in Louisville’s Park Duvalle neighborhood caught on fire, caused by an unattended candle on Feb. 16. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - A house in Louisville’s Park Duvalle neighborhood caught fire Tuesday, displacing two families, and the blaze was caused by an unattended candle.

As temperatures drop, Major Bobby Cooper with Louisville Division of Fire told WAVE 3 News the house fire is a reminder to be safe when staying warm or when using candles in case of power outages.

“The hazards that are associated with weather like this and home heating. It’s just stuff people don’t think about all the time,” Cooper said. “We’re encouraging the public to realize the critical role they play in keeping themselves safe, their families safe and keeping their property safe.”

Instead of candles, flashlights are recommended for emergency lighting.

If using an open flame:

  • Keep the candle contained in a non-combustible container.
  • Never leave the candle attended or near combustibles.
  • Always extinguish the candle when leaving home or before bed.

“What we’ll find sometimes this time of year is people that are in a desperate situation will look for alternative heat sources,” Cooper added.

Some alternative heat sources include plug-in space heaters and generators, though they can start a fire if used improperly.

Space heater tips:

  • Plug heaters directly into an outlet, not a power strip.
  • Purchase a model with an automatic-off feature.
  • Always turn off the heater when leaving home.
  • Keep the heater 3 feet from anything combustible.

Cooper also reminded those who own a generator not to plug it in inside the house or keep it close to the home. Carbon monoxide is another concern when using a generator.

Carbon monoxide also comes from gas burning ovens, which should never be used for home heating.

“People don’t realize they’re being poisoned by the carbon monoxide. They become drowsy, they fall asleep and it’s a tragic consequence,” he said.

Additionally, homes should have a smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector with extra batteries.

”Preparation goes a long way and there’s only so much that we can do,” Cooper said.

Those who live in the Louisville Fire service area can call 311 to get a smoke detector installed in their homes for free.

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