LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – More people are heating their homes as the temperatures start to drop and the Red Cross wants to remind Arkansans of some ways to stay safe as they stay warm.

Red Cross Greater Arkansas Executive Director Lori Arnold said that this is about the time the Red Cross starts to see more home fires and that most of those fires are due to space heaters.

She said that if you need to use a space heater, make sure it is on a level and hard non-flammable surface and not on carpet or rugs. Also, give it three feet of space on all sides and never leave it unattended.

Arnold said never to use your stove or oven to heat your home and if you use a fireplace, always make sure any embers are extinguished before going to sleep.

Arnold stressed that everyone should have a plan in case a fire does happen. That starts with identifying emergency exits in your house and testing smoke alarms.

“Even when you’re doing everything you can to be fire safe fires can still happen,” Arnold said. “So, be prepared. Make sure your smoke alarm is working. We recommend people test their smoke alarms at least once a month.”

Along with a fire escape plan, Arnold said that families need have a meeting spot if a fire does break out in their home.

“Everyone knows exactly where they are going to meet up so that everyone is accounted for,” Arnold continued. “Have an emergency kit. It’s always a great idea to have one of those close to exits. That would include water, blankets, any emergency medicine you know you would need to have.”

Arnold said that some safe ways to keep your home warm without a heater are closing your blinds, putting blankets or towels under your door to stop a draft and to wear more layers inside.