HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – As the First Alert Weather team continues to track winter weather headed for the Grand Strand and Pee Dee, it’s important to put safety first while staying warm this weekend.
As the temperatures drop, many people will turn to space heaters to keep warm. 85% of house fires in December, January and February were due to space heaters and chimneys between 2009 and 2013, according to Firefighter/EMT Christopher Bellflowers of Horry County Fire Rescue.
If you’re going to use a space heater to keep warm, don’t use an extension cord, said Bellflowers. Instead, plug them directly into the socket. Your heater should also be at least 4 feet away from anything that burns and on a flat surface. It’s also suggested to check the manufacturer’s recommendations as far as how to clean, store and use it. It’s also important to make sure it has an emergency shut off, included Bellflowers.
Fireplaces are another great way to warm your home throughout the winter, but they need to be maintained. Chimneys should be cleaned and inspected once a year because it’s going to have a lot of buildup that you can run the risk of catching fire, said Bellflowers.