SYLACAUGA, Ala. – Over the next few nights, low temperatures and winter weather are expected to sweep through the state. Staying warm will be a priority for most, but it is essential that proper heating methods are used to avoid house fires and fire fatalities.

Sylacauga Fire Chief Jon Williams told SylacaugaNews.com he does not expect an increase in fires during this time but he does expect a change in how the fires start. Some of the changes include, space heaters, chimneys, and ovens.

To avoid house fires and fatalities during these cold winter days, Williams shared a few tips with SylacaugaNews.com.

  • Do not leave a fireplace unattended. If you plan to leave your home or walk away from a fire for an extended period of time put the fire out. There is always a chance that fire could get out.
  • If you do have a fireplace, make sure the chimney is clean. Any debris in a chimney can catch on fire.
  • NEVER use an oven to heat a home or room. Not even in an emergency situation. Williams said ovens are simply not designed for that purpose. Ovens are designed to maintain heat in a closed environment. If left open and on, an oven can overload and catch on fire.
  • If you use a space heater make sure there is a clear three feet radius around it. Williams said three feet is great, but try to keep it as far away from anything as you possibly can.
  • Space heaters should always meet the UL or FM certifications. Williams said many space heaters bought online do not meet these qualifications, and it is important for your heater to be up to standard.
  • Smoke detectors are a must. Williams said to always make sure your smoke detectors work. He said over 100 people died in fires in 2016, and over half of those people died in homes without smoke detectors. Detectors will save your life.
  • If a fire does occur and you get out, STAY OUT. Never re-enter a burning home. Williams said Sylacauga’s lone fire fatality in 2016 happened after the victim re-entered the home.

Jeremy Law for SylacaugaNews.com | © 2017, SylacaugaNews.com/Marble City Media LLC. All Rights Reserved.