Fire crews remind public to use space heaters carefully - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Fire crews remind public to use space heaters carefully

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Every kind of heater comes with its own set of risks and precautions. Every kind of heater comes with its own set of risks and precautions.
HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) -

It's that time of year again to break out the old space heater. But as the thermometer dips into the 30's, make sure that heater doesn't turn into a fire hazard.

"We've seen total losses due to space heaters, where the entire house burns down and people are displaced," said Huntsville firefighter Lucas Cagle.

Huntsville firefighters said they see space heater fires all too often. Usually those fires are sparked by heaters left unattended or left too close to furniture and other items.

"Try to keep it out in an open space in the middle of the room. You definitely don't want to leave it on when you go to sleep. Just turn it off when you start to get tired," said Cagle.

When it comes to propane or natural gas heaters, watch out when you refuel them.

"When you are refueling them, you want to cut them off and let them cool. Be careful and don't fill them all the way up to the top," Cagle said.

Gas heaters also pose a risk for carbon monoxide poisoning. Most of these heaters are not meant to be used inside. But there are a few that can be – just read the label. Always have good ventilation and never use them in an enclosed space.

"If you're going to be heating with those type of heaters, you want to check the battery in your carbon monoxide detectors and make sure they are working properly," Cagle advised.

Firefighters said that goes for smoke detectors, too. At this time of year, they see a lot of fires from heating devices, fireplaces and holiday cooking.

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