Space heater, fireplace winter safety reminders

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(ABC 6 News) – It’s the time of year when people are plugging in space heaters for some extra warmth but if you’re not careful, that space heater could cost you, and not just financially.

The Rochester Fire Department said this is the time of year when they get more calls for heating-related fires because of fireplaces, stoves, and space heaters.

Space heaters put out a lot of heat but also a lot of energy. Rochester Fire Captain Brett Knapp said not to use any extension cords for electric space heaters. You also need to make sure your heating device isn’t putting carbon monoxide into the air.

“We like to tell people to make sure they’re keeping everything at least three feet away from any heating source in their home,” said Knapp.

“People tend to get things a little too close and then they get ignited because they’re too close to the heater.”

When you unplug your heater, make sure it’s cooled down before leaving it alone. If you are opting for a more traditional heating option like with a fireplace, Knapp said: “Make sure the masonry is all intact and there aren’t any cracks in the chimney that could cause a fire to get into a wall.

“Or, there isn’t a lot of soot built up in the chimney that could cause a fire as well.”

In addition, make sure your smoke detectors are working. With the possibility of a fire starting overnight, that smoke detector could make all the difference.

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