JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Authorities with the State Fire Marshal’s Office said there have been 10 heating-related deaths in Mississippi so far in 2021.

Weather forecasts predict low temperatures in the 40s for the near future. As temperatures drop, Mississippians will turn on central heat and plug-in space heaters for the first time in months.

Use the following tips to practice heating fire safety:

  • Place working fire alarms in every bedroom of your home.
  • Test smoke alarms once a month.
  • Replace smoke alarms every ten years.
  • All heating equipment should be UL approved and cleaned and inspected by a qualified professional prior to being used each year.
  • Remember to keep clothes, drapes, and anything else combustible at least three feet away from all heating equipment, especially space heaters.
  • Inspect the space heater’s power cord for damage, fraying or heat. If any of these issues are present, the heater should be replaced.
  • Never use space heaters while you sleep or in areas where children may be without adult supervision.
  • Do not leave space heaters on when you are away from home.
  • Always unplug space heaters when they are not in use. The heater should also be equipped with a tip over shut-off switch.
  • Never use a stove or oven to heat living spaces. Kerosene is a poor choice for heating as it will give off poisonous fumes.
  • Haves chimney flues cleaned and inspected by qualified personnel.
  • Have a spark screen that is age appropriate for all individuals if using a fireplace.
  • Burn only approved materials in fireplaces or wood-burning stove; never burn paper or trash.
  • Should a fire break out in the home, have an emergency evacuation plan for the family to follow and have a designated meeting place for all family members. Once everyone is outside the burning home, call 911 and do not go back inside the home under any circumstances.