Firefighters encourage heating safety as cold weather moves in

JACKSON, Tenn. — Firefighters urge people to be extra careful when heating their homes as the cold weather comes this weekend. Departments said they see more fires this time of year.

“If you leave the room and have to leave the home, you definitely need to unplug that space heater,” Jackson Fire Department Public Education Coordinator Rico Bryson said.

Bryson said keep items at least three feet away from any heater. “You want to make sure that it has been through UL testing or some major laboratory testing to make sure that it’s safe for you and your family,” he said.

If you plan to use a space heater, firefighters said get one that cuts off if it tips over. “Any of the newer heaters have that built in, but a lot of the older heaters don’t,” Madison County Fire Chief Eric Turner said.

Firefighters said never heat your home using the oven. They also recommend investing in a carbon monoxide detector. “Carbon monoxide is an odorless gas that kills,” Turner said.

They also said to make sure your fireplace or home heating unit is properly inspected by a service technician once a year.

Firefighters said never hook a space heater up to an extension cord and turn it off before going to bed.

They also encourage people to bring pets inside instead of using heat lamps to keep them warm. They could tip over and cause a fire.

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