Fire officials urge those preparing for cold weather to use fire safety

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SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – As overnight temperatures in the Upstate begin to dip into the higher 40s and lower 50s, local fire officials are urging people in the community to put safety first.

No matter what you use to warm up, anything from an electric space heater, furnace or fire place requires extra awareness.

“Keep anything that can burn at least 3 feet away from fireplaces, wood stoves, portable heaters and radiators,” Holzheimer said. “If you leave the room make sure you turn it off and unplug the item.”

According to the National Fire Protection Association, two in five deaths in space heater fires involve portable electric space heaters.

“Don’t plug them into extension cords. Make sure it’s plugged directly into an outlet and because of the amount of amperage that’s pulled for a space heater it could over load that extension cord and cause a fire,” said Josh Holzheimer, deputy chief of operations for Greer Fire Department, said.

Experts estimate that more than 25,000 residential fires are caused by mistakes made by people using these heaters.

Along with space heaters, it’s important to never leave a lit fireplace or furnace unattended.

Fireplaces should be inspected and properly cleaned on a regular basis.

More safety tips include:
• Keep the heater at least 3 feet away
from anything that can burn, including people.
• Choose a heater with a thermostat and overheat
protection.
• Place the heater on a solid, flat surface instead of carpet.
• Make sure your heater has an auto shut-off to turn
the heater off if it tips over.
• Keep space heaters out of the way of foot traffic including pets. Never block an exit.
• Keep children away from the space heaters, fireplaces or furnaces.

For additional safety tips, click here.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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