Red Cross sees spike in house fires amid stay-at-home order

RHODE ISLAND (WLNE) – The American Red Cross in Rhode Island reported a 35% increase in house fires from March 1 – April 15 compared to the same time period in 2019.

The spike in residential fires could possibly be connected to the coronavirus and the current stay-at-home order in effect.

“I suspect it’s because there are more people at home and maybe they’re distracted,” said Susan Roberts, the Executive Director of the Red Cross in R.I. “We know that people are getting distracted with home schooling,  there’s packages being delivered, and you have meetings that you’re attending– there’s just a lot to juggle right now, so don’t walk away from your stove.”

Roberts suggests residents clean their stoves and make sure there is nothing flammable near it. She also recommends keeping a fire extinguisher handy.

“I use a timer to remind myself I have something in the oven or on the stove and it really does help me,” said Roberts.

She also recommends having a fire evacuation plan in place and to practice it.

“You have about two minutes to get out of your home once it begins to burn,” said Roberts.

For more fire safety tips, click here.

Categories: Coronavirus, News, Rhode Island