It's almost that time of year again. Periodic cold weather spells will mean you're filling up the gas heaters or plugging in the electric heaters.
Many of us use these alternative forms of heat during the cold season, but until tragedy strikes, we frequently forget that all forms of heating for your home can be dangerous.
Ginger Hand, fire prevention specialist with the Meridian Fire Department, offered some safety tips to follow as you prepare to heat your home.
"The main thing right now is people need to go ahead and prepare for the cold season. They need to go ahead and have their heating equipment checked," said Hand. "They need to have their chimneys inspected and cleaned, their wood heaters cleaned, and start getting your equipment out and checking and making sure everything's in proper working order."
An important thing to remember is to always turn off those heaters when you are asleep or away . Never leave a burning fire unattended. Also, be sure to leave a clearing of at least three feet around your space heaters.
"Smoke detectors are really important. They give you a fighting chance to get out in case you do have a fire," Hand said. "They let you know early on that you do have a fire in your home. When a fire happens your whole house can be consumed in three minutes."
Be sure to check those smoke detectors monthly, and also change the batteries at least once a year.
You also should have a carbon monoxide detector to detect the colorless and odorless deadly gases often produced by heating devices.