Fire marshal releases heating tips to stay safe this winter - WNEM TV 5

Fire marshal releases heating tips to stay safe this winter

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SAGINAW, MI (WNEM) -

As we move into the colder months, experts are warning about the dangers of portable heating equipment.

Portable space heaters and items like them are responsible for an estimated two-thirds of home heating fire deaths each winter.

Saginaw Fire Marshal Ralph Martin said there are five things you need to know to help prevent fires during the winter months.

He said you should change the filters in your furnace before turning it on.

"Don't leave home the first day you turn your furnace on, just to make sure everything is working properly," Martin said.

The second tip is to never store flammable liquids in your home. It is best to keep those liquids stored outside.

Also, check your batteries to ensure your smoke detectors are working properly. Martin said smoke detectors can make a difference between life and death during a fire.

Some people may use ovens as a way to keep warm, but Martin said avoid that as a heating source because it can be very dangerous.

"Those can emanate carbon monoxide and that's not good," Martin said.

If you plan to use space heaters make sure it is at least three feet away from anything that is combustible.

Martin said space heaters have been a common source of fires.

He also recommends people to sleep with their bedroom doors closed. That way if a fire happens, smoke does not get into the bedrooms.

Martin said to keep these tips in mind, along with an exit plan, when it comes to fire safety.

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