Winter fire prevention

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The American Red Cross says "heating fires" are the second leading cause of blazes within the home.

Nearly half of American families use alternative heating sources to stay warm in the cooler months, but things like space heaters, fireplaces and wood stoves can lead to dangerous situations.

Fire departments urge people to have professionals check and clean fire places and furnaces before turning them on for the season.

Here are other fire prevention tips:

-Never leave portable heaters unattended
-Place space heaters on level, hard surfaces
-Buy models that shut off automatically if tipped
-Never use an oven to heat your home
-Use a metal or glass screens around a fireplace


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