BRANDON, Miss. (WJTV) – The brown grass outside of the Brandon Fire Department is just one of the signs Division Chief Ben Warren can tell winter is here.
Another is the spark in the number fires.
He says 30 percent of fires during the winter is caused by heating equipment like a space heater.
“It’s an appliance that produces heat, so there is always the potential of fire,” Division Chief Warren said.
Just last week, officials in Mccomb say a man died in a fire. They say it was caused by a space heater.
Chief Warren has some tips for preventing that tragedy from happening again.
If you have a space heater, make sure it’s three feet away from anything flammable, for example curtains.
Be sure to check to see if your heater has the following.
“If you notice on the bottom there is a “UL” listing. The UL shows that it has been tested by a laboratory and this is a safe particular product to use,” Division Chief Warren said.
Heaters should be plugged directly into a wall socket, not a power strip or extension cord.
The most important thing to remember is to make sure to get a working smoke detector.
“This is a remanence of a smoke alarm that actually came out of an apartment fire that happened about a week ago and it was actually credited for saving a mother and her 10-year-old son,” Division Chief Warren said.
Fire officials also stress that you shouldn’t leave a space heater unattended and to make sure you turn it off before going to bed.