Heat safety tips ahead of colder weather

Published: Dec. 30, 2021 at 3:51 PM EST|Updated: Dec. 30, 2021 at 3:52 PM EST
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STATESBORO, Ga. (WTOC) - We are expecting more than a 20 degree drop in temperatures over the weekend and into the beginning of next week. That means you’ll probably have to turn your heater on.

But before you do there are a few things you can do now. A few simple steps now before cold weather could help avoid dangers when that weather comes.

A sudden drop in temperatures can lead to fires if folks aren’t prepared. Statesboro Fire Chief Tim Grams says fires often start from the kind of portable heater you bring into the home.

“You want to make sure that whatever kind of heater you want to utilize is rated and considered safe for indoors,” Chief Grams said.

He says “space heaters” definitely need just that, their own space.

“Making sure you keep them three feet or more away from anything combustible or flammable,” he said.

He says they’ve also seen problems start in the fireplace if people burn things like cardboard, plastics, or treated wood.

“Those things are just not safe for home heating,” Chief Grams said.

Matt Ward, with Ogeechee Heating and Air, offered these tips to get your home HVAC system prepared. First, replace the filter if you haven’t done so recently.

Clean any dusty or dirt from the return air vent. And switch to the heat setting sooner, before it actually gets cold. And do it during the day. It’ll singe away accumulated dust.

It might make an odor, that’s common. But doing that while you’re around during the day helps alleviate that fear in the middle of the night that you’ve got a fire hazard.

The chief also suggests having a smoke detector. Ward agreed with that, but also suggested a carbon monoxide detector as well.

A little precaution goes a long way.

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