LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- With the weather getting colder and the possibility of snow coming into Kentuckiana, local fire departments are sharing tips to keep you and your home safe.
The National Fire Protection Association says more house fires happen in the winter than in any other season, with half of all home heating fires happening in December, January and February.
With snow expected at the end of the week, the Zoneton Fire Protection District is sharing tips to prevent a house fire.
Firefighters recommend testing smoke alarms at least once a month and installing carbon monoxide alarms, which should also be tested.
They also suggest planning two ways out of your home in case of an emergency, such as a fire.
Outside the home, firefighters say to make sure your driveway and sidewalk are clear of any ice and snow to allow easy and safe access to your home. They say generators should be used outside, away from windows and doors and not run inside a garage, even if the door is open. Space heaters should also be turned off when you leave the room or go to bed.
Other tips include making sure your house number is visible and being prepared in case of power outages by having flashlights, battery-powered lighting and fresh batteries. Firefighters say to never use candles when the power goes out.
Fire officials also say to stay up to date on winter weather, check on neighbors and those who may need help, and to stay away from downed wires and powerlines, which should be reported to authorities.
To be prepared in case a home's heat stops working, firefighters say to use extra layers of clothes and blankets to stay warm and, if using an emergency source of heat, to keep anything that could burn at least three feet away.
Another suggestion is to create a "go bag" or a checklist for one if needed, including any items you would need if you have to leave home for an extended period due to loss of heat or power such as medications, chargers and a list of contractors for home repairs.
Lastly, having a list of the cell phone numbers of those who live in the home. Fire officials suggest putting it on a refrigerator in case something happens to a home while residents are away — such as a tree falling on a home — so first responders can reach the homeowners or residents.
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