Captain Jeff Fiscus, with the Alden Fire Department, says if you’re using a space heater, avoid the risk of fire by following all the instructions and safety rules. “Don’t overload the circuit when you’re plugging in your space heater,” Fiscus says. “Make sure anything flammable is kept away from them. They do get hot. We don’t want other objects to catch on fire. Make sure that your space heater has plenty of room to do its job.”
Whatever you may be plugging into the wall, be careful not to misuse power strips as that could lead to an electrical fire. “You really don’t want do what’s called piggybacking, plugging one power strip into another power strip and then into another power strip,” Fiscus says. “Then, you’re overloading that last power strip way too much. Divert the power strips off to different outlets.”
Fiscus says make sure the batteries in your smoke detectors are good and check on another important safety device: “Carbon monoxide detector, make sure it’s working properly,” he says. “A lot of people use fireplaces and if you don’t keep the chimney cleaned out, you could get some backdraft into your house.”
According to the National Fire Protection Association, between 2012 and 2016, U-S fire departments responded to an average of 800 home fires each year that started with decorations, excluding Christmas trees. Those fires caused an annual average of two fire deaths, 34 injuries, and 11-million dollars in property damage.
(By Brian Fancher, KLMJ, Hampton)