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Columbus fire battalion chief provides safety tips in wake of deadly fires

Heating sources are the second leading cause of home fire injuries, and the third leading cause of home fire deaths.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Battalion Chief Steve Martin with the Columbus Division of Fire is providing safety tips after deadly fires were reported in two major cities over the past week. 

Twelve people were killed in a Philadelphia house fire on Wednesday, marking the city’s deadliest blaze in more than a century. Though the cause of the fire is still under investigation, crews have said they believe a 5-year-old was playing with a lighter when the family’s Christmas tree was engulfed in flames. 

In New York, authorities say a malfunctioning space heater sparked a fire on Sunday in a Bronx apartment building, killing 19 people, 9 of them children, in the process. 

When it comes to fire safety, Battalion Chief Martin says the number one rule is to make sure your house is equipped with working smoke detectors. Martin suggests testing those detectors every 30 days to ensure they can be heard in case of an emergency.  

“Smoke alarms being able to wake somebody up will have the biggest impact on saving lives in a fire situation or residence,” said Martin. 

For those who have space heaters, Martin says it’s important to make sure they are properly set up. Leave at least three feet of distance between your space heater and any other object in the room. Make sure the heater is properly placed on the floor, and never leave it running unattended. 

According to the National Fire Protections Agency, heating sources are the second leading cause of home fire injuries, and the third leading cause of home fire deaths. 

Columbus residents who want their smoke alarm professionally checked can call the Smoke Alarm Hotline at 614-724-0935. Central Ohio residents can call 1-844-207-4509. 

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RELATED: Warrant: 5-year-old with lighter near Christmas tree may have started deadly Philadelphia fire

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