Abilene firefighters offer tips to using space heaters safely

ABILENE, Texas - As the temperature starts getting colder, you 're going to want to warm up. Space heaters can keep you warm during the winter, but they can also be dangerous.

Battalion Chief Joey Kincaid, with the Abilene Fire Department, said it's important to think about where you place them.

"Space heaters of any kind, we want a minimum of three feet between it and any combustible surface,” Kincaid said. “So, away from your bed, away from furniture, anything like that, that might catch on fire, you need to definitely maintain that three feet space."

He also said you should not plug your space heaters into extension cords. They need to be plugged in directly into a wall outlet. When people aren’t careful Kindaid said fires can occur often.

“We do have a lot of fires in town because of space heaters or heating appliances things like that,” Kincaid said. “It's just kind of inevitable, but we want everybody to be as safe as possible and hopefully cut that number down."

Kincaid said that some gas fire heaters can release carbon monoxide, which can be deadly. Carbon monoxide is an odorless and colorless gas. Some symptoms can include getting a headache, face turning red, and feeling light headed.

Kincaid said in case of any fire related emergency, you should leave your home and call 911.

“We recommend that you get out of the house, call the fire department, call 911, and let us come and take care of the situation,” Kincaid said.

He also recommends having a carbon monoxide meter in your home.

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