WASHINGTON, Oct. 2 (UPI) -- Many U.S. adults faced with high heating costs will use an alternative heating source this winder, which may spark fires, two non-profits warn.
The American Red Cross and the National Fire Protection Association surveyed 1,003 U.S. adults from Sept. 25 to 28, and found that 48 percent of households had plans to use an alternative heating source to reduce their heating bill this winter.
Thirty-six percent of people with fireplaces reported they never cleaned or inspected their chimneys, and 23 percent did not consider it essential to make sure someone is home when food is cooking on the stove.
Seventeen percent of adults ages 18 to 24 were more likely than other respondents to state they will use the oven to keep the kitchen warm this winter. That compared to 7 percent of all households.
Young adults were also less likely to take precautionary steps such as removing lint from the dryer filter after every load.
"Of the more than 74,000 disasters the American Red Cross responds to each year, approximately 93 percent are fire related, but unlike natural disasters, most home fires can be prevented," Gail J. McGovern, president of the American Red Cross, said in a statement.
The survey, conducted by Caravan, has a margin of error of plus/minus 3.1 percentage points.