Fire Coordinator urges space heater safety to prevent house fires during cold temperatures

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - As temperatures fall outside, the chance of house fires go up.

Jones County Fire Coordinator Dan McKenna reminds folks to be extra careful when using any type of heater to stay warm in the frigid temperatures.

McKenna says most house fires caused by space heaters are typically because they were too close to combustibles, causing them to overheat and ignite.

"Make sure that that safety switch on the bottom of it is functioning properly," said McKenna. "Take the space heater and tip it over, the electric ones, it should shut off immediately as soon as it comes off the ground. Keep a clear space around those heaters of at least three feet around. Make sure that your children are aware that they are not to touch or fool with that device."

McKenna also alerts folks not to use space heaters with extension cords, they are meant to be plugged directly into a wall outlet.

Copyright 2012 WDAM. All rights reserved.