JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – House fires happen more in the winter than in any other season, according to the National Fire Protection Association.
In a matter of seconds, a home can catch fire, and in an instant, your life changes.
Jacksonville resident Michael Bush knows this personally.
One week before Christmas, his home caught fire with him and his family inside.
“I did not think something like that would happen,” Bush said. “It’s one of those things where it’s an element of surprise in the situation.”
Fortunately, everyone managed to escape uninjured.
The house is unlivable, and the cause of the fire is still unknown.
Despite this unforeseen tragedy, Bush is glad his family is safe. He urges families to have a fire escape plan.
“If you’re not prepared for the unexpected, you’ll never know how the outcome will be,” said Bush.
A working smoke detector is also vital. Jacksonville Fire Chief Keith Powers says it can be lifesaving.
“That is extremely important especially in the middle of the night. It alerts you early enough that you get out before it gets so bad,” said Powers.
This month, News4JAX has reported three deaths and five serious injuries in house fires.
Heating appliances are the second leading cause of U.S. home fires and home fire injuries and the third leading cause of home fire death, according to NFPA.
Officials advise that you:
- Turn off portable heaters before going to bed and before leaving a room.
- Never use outdoor cooking equipment to heat home or garage.
- Keep space heaters at least 3 to 4 feet away from things in your home.
Fire officials also recommend having a home fire drill at least twice a year.