Fire officials share space heater, fireplace safety tips

Fire officials share space heater, fireplace safety tips

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - It’s getting colder outside and many people will be unpacking the space heaters and lighting the fireplaces.

Fire officials want to make sure safety measures are being taken.

“The first thing you need to do when going out and buying a space heater is to make sure it has and automatic shutoff,” said Assistant Fire Chief Danny Wade with the Hattiesburg Fire Department. “If it tips over, a lot of the ones out on the marker now a days will automatically shut off, which is a good safety feature.”

Wade also warns not to plug space heaters into an extension cord or surge protector. Wade says that’s because the electrical system can be overloaded by the heaters and catch on fire.

“You want a minimum of three feet around each side to prevent anything from catching on fire,” said Wade. “You want to make sure there’s no clothing, rugs, any type of combustible material that could catch on fire.”

When it comes to fireplaces, make sure you use the correct tools and precautions.

“Use the screens,” said Wade. “Use your fireplace dampers when needed. Be cautious of using certain types of wood.”

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