The polar vortex is wreaking havoc across Louisiana, and is suspected as the reason behind a Baton Rouge house fire that resulted in the death of an elderly couple Tuesday morning. State Fire Marshal Butch Browning says his office has seen a substantial uptick in the number of fires across the state…
“Our office has been called to nearly 25 fire investigations across the state, and the vast majority we believe are related to the weather.”
So far, investigators are attributing many of the fires to people taking big risks to keep their homes warm. Browning has a few fundamental fire safety recommendations.
"Number one make sure you have working smoke alarms in your home. Be more cautious with your space heaters, and we’re asking you to pay close attention if you are cooking in your home.”
The freezing temperatures are not only a threat to people and their pets, they’re a big threat to plumbing. Wrapping your pipes is recommended, but many people are letting the water run overnight to keep their pipes from freezing over. Browning says this can make it difficult for firefighters to respond to house fires.
"Communities are reporting low water pressure, both from pipe breakages, and from the act of keep keeping your pipes dripping to keep them from freezing. We really discourage the dripping of pipes."
Browning says now would be a good time to check up on your elderly relatives, and make sure their smoke detector is up and working.