TEXARKANA, Texas (KTAL/KMSS) – The Northeast Texas Chapter of the American Red Cross wants citizens to be aware that space heaters are the second leading cause of fires this time of year.
If you plan to use one, officials urge that you follow the following steps:
HEAT YOUR HOME SAFELY
- All heaters need space. Keep children, pets, and things that can burn (paper, matches, bedding, furniture, clothing, carpets, and rugs) at least three feet away from heating equipment.
- If you must use a space heater, place it on a level, hard and nonflammable surface (such as ceramic tile floor), not on rugs, carpets, or near bedding or drapes. Plug power cords directly into outlets – never into an extension cord.
- Never leave a fire in the fireplace unattended, and use a glass or metal fire screen to keep fire and embers in the fireplace.
- Never use a cooking range or oven to heat your home.
- Turn off portable space heaters every time you leave the room or go to sleep.
STAY SAFE DURING WINTER WEATHER
- Check on your neighbors, especially elderly people living alone, people with disabilities, and children.
- Bring pets indoors. If they can’t come inside, make sure they have enough shelter to keep them warm and that they can get to unfrozen water.
- Ramps, bridges, and overpasses freeze before roadways
“If you have a fireplace you need to make sure that you don’t leave that fireplace burning overnight unless you close a glass screen on it, and make sure that you keep your children away from those areas,” said Christal Prince.