National Winter Weather Preparedness Week; What you need to know

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NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCBD) – Benjamin Williamson, a Director of Communications with the American Red Cross says they are already seeing an uptick in home fires this holiday season.

Williamson says Red Cross has responded to 25 home fires and helped 74 people across the state of South Carolina in the last seven days.

The Red Cross says there are simple steps to take in your home including; cleaning your chimney and making sure that you aren’t leaving your Christmas tree lights on or candles burning.

“As you get to the point where you’re trying to maybe turn on the heat for the first time, maybe using the fireplace, maybe using a space heater, lighting candles, all of those things are fire hazards that could increase your chance of a home fire.”

Benjamin WIlliamson, Director of Communications in the Palmetto Region, The American Red Cross

Williamson says the best thing you can do is to plan and prepare for a fire in your home. “Practice a plan with your family, your kids as well,” says Williamson. “Williamson also says to “make sure you can get out of the house in under two minutes, make sure you can get out of each room in the house at least two different ways.”

Williamson also says one of the most important prevention tools to protect yourself against a home fire is make sure you have working smoke detectors in your house.

“We encourage folks, smoke alarms is the most important thing. We have a program where we install those for free so if you need them, contact us. We can come out and get you hooked up with those.”

Benjamin WIlliamson, Director of Communications in the Palmetto Region, The American Red Cross

You can visit RedCross.org or GetASmokeAlarm.org to sign up for free smoke alarms through the American Red Cross. The Red Cross will also come out to your house and install the smoke detectors at no cost.

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