Use caution when heating up during colder weather

SAVANNAH, Ga. – Smoke isn’t blowing out of some chimneys in our area yet, but with the cool temperatures right around the corner that could change.

If you plan to stay warm during this cool time there are some things to help you stay safe.

The first item on the list is to make sure your home is protected.

“Make sure you have a working smoke detector in your house, at least one,” Mark Keller, the Savannah Fire PIO, said.

Space heaters, especially older ones, could burn down your home if you’re not paying attention.

“Anytime you leave a room that has a space heater on turn the space heater off,” Keller said. “If you’re leaving your house turn your space heater off. We have had people that have left their house, run across the street to the convenience store, come back and they’ve got a room on fire.”

Experts say it’s best to buy a new space heater since they’re safer and more efficient.

If you have an old one, then be sure the wiring isn’t spotty.

“The best thing to do with an older model space heater is just make sure all the wiring and everything is still in good shape,” Keller said.

Keep items like clothes, curtains or bedding far away from any space heater you may have.

“Keep a three foot area, minimum three foot area, around your space heater,” Keller said. “Keep it child safe, pet safe, keep anything flammable from being in there.”

Also, before you light a fire in your fire place make sure it’s been properly checked by an expert.

“Make sure your flue is open. A lot of times the first fire we make for the season we forget to open that flue. Our house fills with smoke.”

By following these steps it’ll stop fire trucks from heading your way.

“We would prefer to not have to respond to your house because of a fire that’s caused by either a faulty chimney, a faulty fire place, a space heater or any type of heating device,” Keller said.

Fire officials say they have yet to cover a heater or chimney related fire this season and they’d like to keep it that way.

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