Tahlequah Daily Press

Local News

October 11, 2013

Battling blazes

Red Cross urges fire safety as winter approaches

TAHLEQUAH — In July and August, the Eastern Oklahoma Red Cross assisted three Cherokee County families in the wake of house fires.

Between July 1, 2012, and June 30, 2013, the EORC office in Muskogee helped 25 families in Cherokee County – and a total of 117 in its three-county area – recover from residence fires.

National Fire Prevention Week is Oct. 6-12. With colder months approaching, Ryan Hardaway, director for EORC, wants families to be aware of potential dangers as they light their furnaces and fireplaces, and make use of space heaters.

“The No. 1 start of house fires is in the kitchen with the cooking of food,” Hardaway said. “Other frequent causes are old electrical wires or smoking in bed. But winter means many fires will be caused by space heaters, or people not checking their furnaces and chimneys.”

To reduce the chances of fire, the American Red Cross suggests professional furnace and fireplace inspections every fall.

In some homes space heaters are a necessity, but they must never be left unattended. The Red Cross says such heaters should be placed on a hard non-flammable surface, and placed a minimum of three feet away from “anything and anyone, including pets.”

Equally important to prevention is preparation in the event of a house fire.

“Make sure the family has an escape plan,” Hardaway said. “There should be an established meeting place where it can be determined everyone is safe. Don’t go back inside for stuff. Everyone will want to save something from the fire, but nothing is worth risking lives.”

Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors on every floor double the occupants’ chances of surviving a fire, and 65 percent of all fire deaths occur in a home without detectors. Batteries should be replaced each year.

Another important preparation is insurance, Hardaway said. If living in a home without a lien or renting, it can be a temptation not to carry coverage.

“I am actually surprised by the number of people who don’t have homeowner insurance,” Hardaway said. “Of the people we’ve helped in the last year, 70 percent had zero insurance. It is important to cover your home even if it is paid for. If you rent or don’t make much money, try getting a little policy. Renters coverage of $20,000 or $25,000 will replace a lot of stuff.”

The Red Cross can also offer help. Hardaway said those in Cherokee, Muskogee and Adair counties who are affected by house fires should call the EORC at (918) 682-1366.

“We can assist a family of four with between $800 and $1,000 worth of assistance,” he said.

Hardaway said safety is most adversely affected by complacency, and urged people to assess their homes carefully.

“Everybody says ‘it won’t happen to me,’” he said. “Those we assist are proof that it will happen to somebody, so people should take steps to prevent house fires and be prepared in case it does happen.”

More information is available online at redcross.org/prepare/disaster/home-fire. The site has links to fact sheets on fire safety, escape planning, home heating fires, cooking fires and smoke alarms.

jnewton@tahlequahdailypress.com

1
Text Only
Local News
  • ts-marching-MAIN.jpg Marching in step

    Tahlequah High School Orange Express Marching Band kicks off 2014 season with summer drills.

    The Tahlequah High School Orange Express Marching Band has added 30-35 freshmen to its roster this year, and drills began for the newest members last Thursday.

    July 29, 2014 2 Photos

  • studie-roberta.jpg Woman accused of stealing cash, taking it to casino

    A 35-year-old Tahlequah woman is free on bond after she allegedly took $1,200 from a man who had been jailed for old warrants.
    Cherokee County sheriff’s deputies said they spoke with Jason Jones last week after Jones was arrested by park rangers for the outstanding warrants. Jones said he came to Oklahoma to see family, and when he was arrested, he left his wallet and cash with one of his daughters.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • svw-Hepatitis.jpg Hepatitis vaccinations important today

    The phrase “back to school” may be disdained by kids for many reasons, including a trip to the doctor’s office to update immunizations.
    But hepatitis cases in Oklahoma provide a good example of why these vaccinations are important.
    “There was a time when Hepatitis A was just crazy in Oklahoma. The state was actually known for it,” said Becky Coffman, an epidemiologist with the Oklahoma Health Department’s Acute Disease Service.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • hood-raymond.jpg One man caught, another sought after foot chase

    Two people tried to escape sheriff’s deputies, and one was successful, after a traffic stop on U.S. Highway 62 last weekend.
    Deputy Bryan Qualls was on the highway when he noticed a red Chevrolet Avalanche matching the description of a truck that had been spotted at the scene of a recent burglary.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Detectives investigate deaths of two elderly residents

    Incident may be murder-suicide

    Tahlequah police detectives believe the deaths of two elderly Cherokee County residents are part of a murder-suicide that took place July 24-25.

    July 29, 2014

  • ts-Tax-free-main.jpg Shopper's delight

    Tax-free weekend coming up Aug. 1-3, just in time for back-to-school savings

    Attention, shoppers: Oklahoma’s Tax-Free Weekend is coming up, beginning at 12:01 a.m., Friday, Aug. 1.

    July 28, 2014 2 Photos

  • ballard-amanda.jpg Woman pleads no contest to molestation

    A Tahlequah woman accused of having more than 20 sexual encounters with a 13-year-old boy has pleaded no contest in exchange for a 15-year prison sentence, though 10 years have been suspended.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • svw-arch-society.jpg Archaeologist: Spiro Mounds may have been ancient music haven

    People gathered from across the country at the “center of the universe,” bringing with them different styles of music and instruments, each thought to have its own power and importance.
    This could be the description of a modern music festival, but to Jim Rees, it is a picture of the Spiro Mounds 1,000 years before Columbus came to the Americas.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Two headed for trial for conspiracy to kill judge and others

    Two of the four people accused of conspiring to kill a Cherokee County judge and several other targets were bound over for trial Friday following a preliminary hearing in Tahlequah.

    July 28, 2014

  • Woman accused in embezzlement sought for arrest

    Court officials have issued a bench warrant for a woman who previously pleaded to embezzling more than $40,000 while she worked for Tahlequah attorney Park Medearis.

    July 28, 2014

Poll

Do you believe school administrators and college presidents in Oklahoma are paid too much?

Strongly agree.
Somewhat agree.
Somewhat disagree.
Strongly disagree.
Undecided.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Raw: Japanese Soldiers Storm Beach in Exercises Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Two Women Narrowly Avoid Being Hit by Train In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast New Sanctions on Key Sectors of Russian Economy Crayola Announces Family Attraction in Orlando US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue
Stocks