(WCIA) — “We see electrical with lights and decorations, candles is one of the top fire starters as well so we see a lot with the candles,” Andy Stewart with the Urbana Fire Department said.
Andy Stewart, a firefighter with the Urbana Fire Department says December, January and February are the busiest months of the year
“1 in 7 house fires, 1 in 5 deaths come from heating sources, chimneys are part of that, fireplaces are part of that,” Stewart said.
Fire crews are not the only ones responding to a fire.
The Red Cross helps families after a fire happens. “Just in the past week, we responded to approximately 20 home fires, assisting about 60 people,” Brian Williamsen with the Red Cross said.
“Home fires are the most frequent disaster that the red cross responds to,” Williamsen said.
The National Fire Protection District says the top leading causes of fires are heating, electrical and cooking, which is why Stewart wants to remind people how to prevent fires from happening.
“Candles, your decorations, your lights, your Christmas tree that stuff should be turned off when we go to sleep or when we leave the house,” Stewart said.
He says another key component to handling emergencies is establishing a relationship with nearby agencies and departments, like the Red Cross.
“Our volunteers are contacted by our team and then from there, they go out, they’re on the scene, that day, that night, whatever the time of the fire is, could be in the middle of the night,” Williamsen said.
Stewart says combatting fires takes community effort.
“It’s about attacking this together,” Stewart said.