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) -

The Toledo Fire Department wants to remind residents to heat homes safely during this stretch of cold weather.

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

As the temperatures outside drop, many people crank up the thermostat or turn to alternative heat sources, but fire officials say those heat sources can be dangerous if you aren't careful.

"There's a lot of people out there that are using extra forms of heat and if they're not taking care of or using the proper precautions with, it's very common for us to see an increase in fires," said Lt. Robert Walters, of Toledo Fire and Rescue.

National statistics 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 the rest of the department want to remind people to take extra precautions.

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

It's also important to keep the area around the heat source clean and free from debris.

The other thing to watch out for is carbon monoxide from improperly vented furnaces.

"That can cause dizziness, nausea and unfortunately in some rare instances, people have died from it," Walters said.

Finally, make sure space heaters are kept at a safe distance from items that could catch fire, like a couch or bed. And as always, a working smoke and carbon monoxide detector 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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