Remember space heater safety this winter

Published: Dec. 5, 2022 at 11:18 AM EST
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Cold weather means more people are looking for ways to stay warm.

Cold weather also means firefighters are responding to more house fires. So, how can you balance fighting the cold and keeping yourself and your family safe?

“We know that half of home heating fires are reported in the months of December, January, and February. And supplemental heat is the second leading cause of home fire fatalities,” said Major Jessica Bowman, Lexington Fire Department.

Bowman says that there are lots of ways people try to hear their homes. One of the most common is to use a space heater.

Major Bowman says that an electric space heater works great when you need to warm up, but you need to make sure you’re using it correctly.

“You never want to leave your space heater unattended. You want to turn it off before you go to bed, before you leave the house to run errands,” said Bowman. “You also want to maintain a 3-foot kid-free, pet-free zone around that. You want to keep your space heater and your fireplace at least three feet away from anything that’s flammable.”

Major Bowman says it’s also a good time of year to check your smoke detectors and make sure you have a working carbon monoxide detector in your home. Also, she says you go over your safety plan in case of a house fire so that you and your family know exactly what to do if a fire sparks up.