Firefighters Provide Home Heating Safety Tips

Firefighters Provide Home Heating Safety Tips
With the colder weather coming our way, many families will be cranking up the heat to stay warm.

But firefighters want to make sure you’re safe while doing it.

Chattanooga Fire Department Spokesperson Bruce Garner says they see it time and time again. When the temperatures drop, the number of fire calls go up.

“The first few cold snaps we tend to see a rise in house fires usually caused by alternative heating sources that aren’t used properly,” said Garner.

Some of those alternative heating sources include space and keroscene heaters. Another common mistake Garner says homeowners make is by bringing generators indoors, when they are meant to stay outside. He says by bringing it inside, it can leak dangerous amounts of carbon monoxide.

“It can be a little frustrating for us. I know we can sound like a broken record talking about the three foot rule for space heaters or the value of smoke alarms but it doesn’t make it any less true,” said Garner.

Earlier this week, two people died after fire tore through their Trion home. Officials linked that fire to a malfunctioning space heater. They also say they didn’t find any evidence of working smoke detectors.

In Ooltewah over the weekend, two space heaters hooked up by an extension cord are the reason why one family is left without a place to live.

“They are placed too close to something that will catch on fire. What’s really insidious about it too is you often do this, you’re trying to stay warm, and they put it up against something that will burn and they go to sleep,” said Garner.

If you are really set on turning the fireplace on, Garner says to always have a metal or glass screen in front of it. This way, you’ll never have to worry about sparks igniting nearby furniture which Garner says, is their primary rule.

Garner says another common thing people do is turn on their kitchen oven range for heat. But he says that’s a two part deadly mistake. Not only can it cause your house to go up in flames, it can also put out toxic fumes.

By Alyssa Spirato

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