Cold temperatures mean fire danger from heating units - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Cold temperatures mean fire danger from heating units

David Gills of Wiggins enjoys his outdoor propane heater at his campsite at Southern Comfort Camping Resort in Biloxi, but he also knows the dangers when it comes to warming the inside of his camper. (Photo source: WLOX News) David Gills of Wiggins enjoys his outdoor propane heater at his campsite at Southern Comfort Camping Resort in Biloxi, but he also knows the dangers when it comes to warming the inside of his camper. (Photo source: WLOX News)
BILOXI, MS (WLOX) -

With cold weather on the way, people are beginning to turn on heaters and light up the fire place.

But, colder weather also means more danger for fire in all kinds of homes, permanent or mobile.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, heating equipment is one of the leading causes of home fire deaths. Biloxi Battalion Chief Anthony Trosclair says the danger is on his radar.

“Well, we try to keep our manpower the same all year, but when it gets into the colder months of December, January, February, that’s when we get the most calls for fires.”

David Gills of Wiggins is a native of Ohio, and loves to camp during cold weather months. 

“I’m from cold weather country, so this feels good to me,” Gills said. “Even after living down here for 12 years, it’s enjoyable to sit out outside and enjoy it.”

However, Gills knows the dangers of the propane heat that supplies his camper.

“I try to stay updated, keep newer campers, all of that because propane lines.....you want to make sure everything’s safe,” Gills said. “These things are very enclosed campers. Not air tight, but they don’t ventilate very well so everything needs to be checked.”

And that includes even the small things like cleaning the vents.

“Mud daubers will build a nest in there, and you’ll fire up the furnace and it won’t vent, so it’s going to explode.”

Half of all home heating fires are reported during those months, but experts say the following prevention tips are the best protection.

  • Keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from heating equipment
  • Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year
  • Make sure a fireplace has a screen to stop sparks
  • Turn off portable heaters when leaving the room
  • Install and test smoke alarms every month

For additional tips on heating your home during cold weather, click here

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