Kingsport Fire Dept. suggests these tips for heater safety this winter

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(Photo courtesy: Virginia State Parks / CC BY 2.0 via mgn online)

KINGSPORT, Tenn. (WJHL) — The Kingsport Police Department reminded the public to practice heating safety precautions as temperatures continue to drop.

The seasonal change brings the return of the use of fireplaces and plug-in heaters — both of which can be dangerous if not used and handled properly.

Following several precautions could help prevent a house or structure fire. The Kingsport Fire Department provided the following pointers from the National Fire Protection Association:

  • Keep anything that can burn at least 3 feet away from heating equipment
  • Have 3-foot kid-free zone around open fires and space heaters
  • Never use an oven to heat a home
  • Do not use extension cords or power strips to plug in heaters
  • Heaters should be plugged directly into the wall socket
  • Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional
  • Turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed
  • Always use the right kind of fuel, specified by the manufacturer
  • Ensure fireplaces have a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying. Ashes should be cool before putting them in a metal container.
  • Install and maintain CO alarms to avoid the risk of CO poisoning
  • Do not light an appliance if the gas heater smells like like mercaptan, a sulfur-like smell. Leave the home and call 911
  • Test smoke alarms at least once a month

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