Colder weather means increased danger due to space heaters

(Jon Zimney/95.3 MNC)

With it getting cold at night now, you might be using a space heater to warm your home. Space heaters are one of the main causes for house fires during the colder months.

Mike Pruitt, the deputy chief for the Bargersville Fire Department, says there are some “do’s and don’t’s” when it comes to space heaters to help you prevent a fire.

“Every year. We respond to calls every year, where, when we arrived, we find out someone left a space heater too close to a combustible, such as curtains or furniture,” Pruitt said.

He says space heaters should be at least three feet away from those combustible items. However, you also don’t want them in the middle of a room.

“We want to make sure they’re not in high-traffic areas where, maybe, a pet or a child can knock these over,” Pruitt said.

He also reminds you to plug the heater directly into a wall — don’t use an extension cord, as it can overheat and catch on fire. Always remember to turn it off before you leave the house or go to sleep.

“We want to make sure we shut the heater off,” he said. “Add some blankets. Snuggle more than what you would normally do to stay warm. But shut it off at night.”

Pruitt says now is a good time to go over these safety precautions with everyone in your family.

“We’re right in that transition month, so we’re still going to have warm days, and people aren’t going to be thinking about it,” he said. “But, plan ahead, and do a little safety walk through your home.”

Additionally, he says to check and make sure your smoke detectors are working in your house.

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