With blizzard conditions and severe cold anticipated for much of Western Pennsylvania this weekend, the American Red Cross is asking residents to take precautions against home fires.
Many fires that take place during times of heavy snow or intense cold are the result of people using alternative heating sources to stay warm, according to officials.
Home heating safety tips include keeping children, pets and burnable materials at least three feet away from all heating equipment; never leave a fireplace or space heater unattended; and never use a cooking range or oven to heat a home. Chimneys should be inspected annually by a professional and cleaned if needed.
In order to help prevent home fires, residents should also test smoke alarms monthly and practice escape plans with all household members at least twice a year.
Written By: Ryan Saeler for the Butler Radio Network