Heating safety tips as cold weather approaches

Heating safety tips as cold weather approaches

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - As the colder temperatures start to arrive here in the Coastal Empire and Lowcountry, there are a few things you need to start thinking about if you use things like space heaters to keep things toasty inside your home.

Heating equipment is one of the leading causes of home fires in the state from things like open fireplaces, wood stoves, and space heaters. When it comes to using space heaters, leaders with Savannah Fire Rescue say you may want to consider upgrading if you haven’t in awhile.

“If you have an older one, we recommend thinking about replacing them with the newer models that have anti-tip devices that will automatically shut off when tipped over,” said Capt. Paul Stanford with Savannah Fire Rescue.

Even with the safety upgrades with newer models, Captain Stanford says you still have to follow the manufacturing guidelines. Stanford says fires started by space heaters can start just as quickly as one caused by a cigarette falling on furniture, which is what a demonstration mimicked at the Savannah Fire Rescue training facility a few weeks ago.

“Very much the same as space heaters. That’s why we tell you not to put anything too close. Use the manufacturer’s recommendations for clearance for them. Don’t put socks on them to dry, clothes like that. People will do that in the wintertime when they get wet. So keep those distances and, just be careful,” said Stanford.

Stanford says along with changing out batteries on smoke and CO-2 detectors, make sure chimney flutes are cleaned and cleared of debris before use.

Copyright 2019 WTOC. All rights reserved.