Officials addressing heat safety as temperatures drop - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Officials addressing heat safety as temperatures drop

Officials are warning homeowners to exercise caution when plugging up space heaters this winter. Source: WDAM Officials are warning homeowners to exercise caution when plugging up space heaters this winter. Source: WDAM
JONES COUNTY, MS (WDAM) -

Temperatures are dropping, and that means many area residents are starting to crank up the heat in their homes. 

Jones County Fire Coordinator Dan McKenna said residents need to exercise caution when it comes to heat safety. 

"Your furnaces haven't been on in nine months probably at this time, you know, when you first turn those on they're gonna, you know, have an odor to them, don't be alarmed everything should be running fine," said McKenna. 

McKenna stressed that home owners learn the difference between furnace odors and smoke from a fire. 

"Generally when they do initially come on, they don't set off the smoke detectors, obviously if your smoke detector goes off, you want to go ahead and call 911 immediately because something may be wrong," said McKenna.

McKenna said that when using space heaters, first check the cord to make sure it's not damaged and then plug the heater up and test the tip-over mechanism to make sure it will turn off if it's knocked over. 

"If it doesn't shut off, you might have to have that unit examined," McKenna said. 

After you determine the heater is working properly there's a few safety tips to remember before using it. 

"They're intended as a, just a short period of time and not for permanent use, they need to be plugged directly into an outlet on the wall, the use with an extension cord will overheat the extension cord and potentially cause a fire," said McKenna. "When you have it set up you want to make sure that you're at least three feet away from any combustible items."

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