Heating safety tips from Toledo Fire - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Heating safety tips from Toledo Fire

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(Toledo News Now) -

TheToledo Fire Department wants to remind residents to heat homes safely duringthis stretch of cold weather.

Theysay January is one of the top months for heating-related fires. Officials sayprevention is key when it comes to protecting your home this winter.

Asthe temperatures outside drop, many people crank up the thermostat or turn toalternative heat sources, but fire officials say those heat sources can bedangerous if you aren't careful.

"There'sa lot of people out there that are using extra forms of heat and if they're nottaking care of or using the proper precautions with, it's very common for us tosee an increase in fires," said Lt. Robert Walters, of Toledo Fire and Rescue.

Nationalstatistics show heating equipment starts one out of every five house fires.Those fires cause more than 600 deaths per year. That's why Lt. Walters and therest of the department want to remind people to take extra precautions.

"It'simportant to make sure your heating equipment is in good working order," hesaid. "Make sure it's clean."

It'salso important to keep the area around the heat source clean and free fromdebris.

Theother thing to watch out for is carbon monoxide from improperly ventedfurnaces.

"Thatcan cause dizziness, nausea and unfortunately in some rare instances, people havedied from it," Walters said.

Finally,make sure space heaters are kept at a safe distance from items that could catchfire, like a couch or bed. And as always, a working smoke and carbon monoxidedetector can help alert you at the first sign of any issue.

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Copyright 2014 Toledo News Now. All rights reserved.

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