Fire officials warn of space heater safety as temps drop - WNEM TV 5

Fire officials warn of space heater safety as temps drop

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Chances are you're busting out a space heater to keep you and your family warm as the temperatures cool down, but they can be dangerous if not used properly.

“Three feet, keeping it three feet away from anything that might be combustible,” said Capt. Mike Pruitt with the Wayne Township Fire Department in Indiana.

Pruitt said that`s the number one rule for a space heater.

It`s also recommended you don`t use extension cords with heaters. Instead, plug them right into the wall.

Pruitt also said to keep it recent. Always replace old heaters and never buy an older model at a garage sale.

“The nice thing about modern day space heaters are that if they do fall over, the blower will continue to run but the heating element will shut off,” Pruitt said.

Make sure your smoke detectors are working, too.

“The smoke alarm is really your first line of defense in warning your family that something may be amiss inside your home,” said Rita Reith with Indianapolis Fire Department.

It’s advice that could save you and your family’s lives.

“Usually when people misuse these heating devices, that`s when it gets them in trouble,” Pruitt said.

Fire officials also said never use a kerosene space heater inside, because it has the potential to give off carbon monoxide.

They said always stick to electric, and always keep an eye on it.

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