Keeping safe during cold weather

When it gets cold like this and we think of fires, it’s usually about how to light one in our fire places, but when the temperature drops, potential fire hazards go up.

In a matter of seconds, a space heater can go from warming up your house to burning it down. Biloxi Fire Deputy Chief of Fire Prevention Caleb Hudson said, “If you have a space heater, you want to plug it straight into an outlet, not into a surge protector or an extension cord. Make sure also that you turn them off if you leave the room. They have newer style space heaters, but if you have an old one, make sure if it starts to tip over, it automatically turns off, that way if it falls it doesn’t continue producing the heat which could cause a fire. Of course, you want to keep a space heater at least 3 feet from anything that you have.”

Space heaters aren’t the only potential fire hazards during a cold snap. A few words of caution for those of you with fire places in your home. “With the fire place, the same rule applies-keep things at least three feet away – anything that could catch on fire. Also, they make these screens that go in front of them to keep the ashes and sparks inside of it. When you dump the ashes, make sure you don’t just throw them in the garbage. Keep them a ways away from your house and make sure they cool off before you dispose of them. One of the biggest things we recommend is not use your oven as a heating source, because that’s not what they are designed for. If you have a gas oven, you want to make sure you have a carbon monoxide detector.”

Last but not least, be sure to check your smoke detectors monthly to keep you and yours covered year round.

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