Safety tips for using space heaters in the winter weather

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MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - With forecasted lows expected to reach into the teens and twenties next week, this has local fire prevention specialists encouraging everyone to remember to use caution when heating homes. Specifically space heaters.

"Just to make sure when we're using the space heaters, that we keep plenty of space around them, at least 3-feet of clearance around any curtains or furniture or anything that you know might catch on fire. So you want to keep those clear, plug them into the wall and not use extension cords with them," Fire Prevention Specialist Rachel Foy said.

Using an extension cord could provide too much energy on the cord, increasing the chance of a fire starting. Another tip is remembering to check chimneys to make sure they are clear of obstructions.

“Yea, you just want to make sure they are clean, the chimneys are clean, make sure there are no bird nests or whatever or anything that might be stuck inside that chimney you just want to always make sure those are clean first before you use them,” Foy said.

Foy wants to remind residents to only use appropriate heat sources during the cold weather. Using an oven to heat your home is dangerous and not recommended.

“It really doesn’t do a whole lot, but it’s dangerous to have that oven on that long,” Foy said. “Because that’s just more of a chance of that catching on fire as well. So, we definitely don’t want to be using the stoves.”

Remembering simple heating safety tips can prevent a disaster from occurring at home.

“Try and stay warm inside,” Foy said. “If you don’t need to go outside, don’t go outside and pile up under the covers.”

For more information on safety tips, you can contact your local fire prevention specialist.