Fire officials warn about space heaters as temps drop - FOX10 News | WALA

Fire officials warn about space heaters as temps drop

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Firefighters say space heaters like this one could be hazard. Photo: FOX10 News Reporter Alexa Knowles. Firefighters say space heaters like this one could be hazard. Photo: FOX10 News Reporter Alexa Knowles.
MOBILE, AL (WALA) -

With temperatures dropping in our area, firefighters in Mobile and Baldwin counties say they're preparing for more calls; fires that are usually caused by heating equipment. 

Cozied up by the fire or a heater is a good way to keep warm during these cold winter nights, but putting out a fire caused by heating equipment is not a good way to start 2018. We're told that happens quite a lot this time of year.

According to the US Fire Administration, there are tens of thousands of heating fires a year, usually in the winter. That's why fire officials in Mobile and Baldwin Counties are preparing for more of them this month. They say, when temperatures drop, chances of a fire go up. 

And sometimes, that little heater that warms up your toes, is to blame. Fire officials warn that even though they're small, space heaters can do a lot of damage if you're not careful.

Here are some tips:

  • Leave 3 feet of space around the heater
  • Place on level, flat surfaces 
  • Always unplug when not using it
  • Never leave it unattended
  • Plug into a wall outlet, don't use an extension cord

And if it's cold enough to get the fire going, officials say make sure you're taking care of your fireplace before lighting it.

"For the chimney especially, we want you guys to at least clean it once a year, and make sure the damper is open, and have glass or screen doors in front of it so no embers fly out and cause a fire," says Tim Cooper, with the Spanish Fort Fire Department.

The US Fire Administration also says heating is the second leading cause of home fires, after cooking. About thirty percent of those fires happened because the heat source was too close to things that burn.

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