Fire officials urge everyone to have a working smoke detector

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) -  Fire officials have warnings about the use of alternative heating devices in home. Those devices are suspected in recent fatal fires.

Fire officials say space heaters or hot plates are not safe alternative heating devices. Also, there's a new campaign this month to make sure every home has a working smoke detector.

In the last 24 hours three fires in the St. Louis area have been linked to space heaters or hot plates.  Four people have died, two are in critical condition, and two others suffered minor injures.   Some people use alternative heating devices because their utilities have been cut off or they want to reduce their utility bills.  Fire officials emphasize that those devices should be avoided.

Fire officials says some of the homes recently damaged by fire had no working smoke detectors. A new campaign to get those detectors  in every home has been started by the American Red Cross of eastern Missouri.

Call the American Red Cross TO make an appointment to get your smoke detector checked or to get a new smoke detectors: 314-516-2797

It is a free service to anyone. The Red Cross says just within the last 11 days they have helped 52 families who have had home fires in the St. Louis region.