GAFFNEY, S.C. (WSPA) — When temperatures drop, officials say it’s important to make sure your heating sources are safe and there’s a plan in place in the event of a fire.
The American Red Cross helped families in Spartanburg, Jonesville, Taylors, Seneca and Asheville, to name a few, after house fires over this weekend.
The organization said in a news release that 27 of 50 people whose homes were damaged or destroyed in fires over the weekend live in Spartanburg County.
In Cherokee County, a Gaffney man died from injuries he suffered in a house fire.
More cold weather is expected with an Arctic blast expected to reach the area early Tuesday.
Firefighters say it’s important to make sure you have a working smoke detector along with a carbon monoxide detector in your home at all times.
Space heaters can quickly start a fire if they’re not kept in the proper place.
The Red Cross advises that space heaters be kept three feet away from anything that could catch fire, such as furniture, curtains and bedding. Space heaters should be plugged into an outlet instead of an extension cord, according to the organization, and not be left unattended.
Gaffney City Fire Marshal Billy Bishop stressed the importance of keeping an updated escape route and a plan in the event of the fire.
The City of Gaffney Fire Department and many other departments have smoke detectors available for residents.
As of Sunday, the Red Cross Upstate chapter has helped 181 people recover from a home fire compared to 245 people this time last year.
“This weekend was certainly one of the busiest our volunteers have had all season,” Executive Director Lisa Colby said in a statement. “We are so thankful for the continued dedication of our volunteers who are available 24 hours a day to respond to home fires.”
The Red Cross says it’s always in need of volunteers. Those interested in helping are asked to complete an application at redcross.org/volunteer or call the local Red Cross office at 864-271-8222.